Bill will increase the cost and risk of patent litigation, putting startups at a disadvantage against entrenched competitors
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today issued the following statement regarding S. 1137, the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act of 2015.
“At the time of introduction, we said the PATENT Act was a step in the right direction when compared to H.R. 9, the Innovation Act of 2015, and we were hopeful that improvements could be made to protect startups and their investors in order to garner our support,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA. “Despite repeated conversations with senators and staff to address our concerns, no noticeable improvements have been made to correct the unintended consequences that would result from certain provisions in the bill. Because these consequences will make it harder to invest in patent-reliant startups, we have no choice but to oppose the bill in its current form and hope that improvements can be made as we work through the legislative process to make it less harmful to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
“In spite of our opposition to the PATENT Act, we believe steps should to be taken to reform our patent litigation system to rein in patent trolls and curb other abuses in the system. We remain concerned that the changes to the patent litigation system being proposed will make it harder for any patent-reliant startup to defend its intellectual property, and must be moderated to avoid the unintended consequences that will impact investment in innovation and entrepreneurship,” added Franklin. “As the process moves forward, we will continue with our good faith efforts to work with lawmakers to arrive at a balanced approach that carefully targets abusive behavior while also protecting the rights of patent-dependent businesses that rely on strong patent protections to ensure their survival.”