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Congressman Steve Israel Responds on The SHIELD Act

Posted in Editorials on April 16th, 2013

In March, I wrote a letter to several elected representatives about the SHIELD ACT. I have since received this response, dated April 10, 2013 from Congressman Steve Israel.

Thank you for contacting me in support of the Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act. I appreciate your thoughts on this matter and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you may know, H.R. 845, the Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act of 2013, was introduced by Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon on February 27, 2013. If enacted, this bill would force companies who bring frivolous patent lawsuits and lose to pay all costs and attorney’s fees associated with the case. H.R. 845 was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, where it awaits further consideration.

I believe American inventors need patent reform to be competitive in the global economy. Our current system can be slow and its backlog doesn’t foster innovation by entrepreneurs and small businesses. For these reasons last Congress I voted for, and President Obama signed into law, H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act. Among some of the larger changes in this overhaul are changes to help expedite the patenting process. It also creates a new method for challenging previously issued business method patents. Further, it allows the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to set or adjust all of its fees, including those related to patents and trademarks, instead of having Congress set the fees.

Please be assured I will keep your thoughts in mind should I have the opportunity to vote on this or other patent related legislation.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so again on any matter of concern. You can also visit my website (http://house.gov/israel/) to learn more about the issues important to you and to sign up for my email updates.

This seems like tentative support to me. I’m also surprised that I had not heard the America Invents Act mentioned by the Electronic Frontier Foundation or the podcasting community in relation to the SHIELD Act. It appears to have measures to prevent patent trolls.

Has anyone else gotten a response?

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