Colorado Attorney General John Suthers joins 41 other states attorneys general in submitting a letter to the ranking members of the United States Senate Judiciary and Commerce, Science and Transportation Committees, voicing support for federal legislation that will address patent trolls.
“The goal is to ensure that any federal legislation on this issue will confirm, and not undermine, existing state authority to protect consumers,” said Suthers. “We recognize the importance of taking action against patent trolls whose activities run afoul of Colorado’s consumer protection laws,” Suthers concluded.
Patent trolls acquire patents solely for the purpose of using them to extract license fees and settlements from those targeted as alleged infringers. Consumers, small businesses and non-profit agencies are often targeted by patent trolls because they have purchased or used products with a wide-range of patented technology such as printers or scanners.
The Senate bill, S.1720, and the related H.R. 3309, which recently passed the House, would require greater clarity in patent demand letters and include patent litigation reforms that will help limit the power of patent trolls.
The attorneys general expressed a desire, however, that any legislation confirm their existing state authority to protect their citizens from patent trolls.
The letter was sent to Senators Leahy (D-VT), Grassley (R-IA), Rockefeller (D-WV) and Thune (R-SD), and copied to Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-UT) and Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY). Attorneys general from the following states signed the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.