Urges moderation to target abusive behavior while protecting patent-reliant startups
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today issued the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee completed its markup of H.R. 9, the Innovation Act of 2015, and reported it out of committee by a vote of 24-8.
“While we appreciate the spirit of H.R. 9 and share the mutual goal of deterring abusive behavior plaguing our patent litigation system, we cannot support the bill in its current form,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA. “Absent additional modifications, we believe H.R. 9 will create unintended consequences that will discourage investment in innovation and entrepreneurship by making it more difficult for any patent-reliant startup to defend their intellectual property. The net result would have a chilling effect on the innovation ecosystem, threatening the crown jewel of the broader U.S. economy and a key driver of American job creation.”
“Despite our ongoing concerns, we do appreciate several improvements that were made to the bill over the last several weeks, including Chairman Goodlatte’s efforts to address some of our concerns with the joinder provision, but also the pleadings, discovery and Inter Partes Review forms,” added Franklin. “To be sure, more improvements can and must be made, but these modifications are a good start. Moving forward, we would appreciate the opportunity to continue the constructive dialogue with lawmakers to arrive at a final product that meets our mutual objective of curbing patent trolls while avoiding significant unintended consequences that could imperil entrepreneurship in America.”