Printing Industries of America Continues Fight Against Patent Troll Abuse
Printing Industries of America (PIA), Sewickley, Pa., recently attended a White House event to announce major progress on a series of initiatives launched last year to combat "patent trolls" and abusive patent litigation. Michael Makin, president and CEO of PIA, accepted the invitation extended to the association by National Economic Council director Gene Sperling and secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker. Makin was represented at the event by Lisbeth A. Lyons, PIA's vice president of government affairs.
Senior administration officials offered updates on the status of the patent reform agenda. Patent Trademark Office deputy director Michelle Lee was among the speakers at the event. Following the speeches, PIA was pleased to share the association's policy positions directly with Lee. This engagement with the Obama Administration builds upon PIA's continued advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill, including testimony by Makin before the Senate Judiciary Committee last December.
PIA's overriding view continues to be that patent litigation reform legislation should demystify the patent process for end users-like printing companies-and ensure they are able to have less costly, less burdensome avenues with which to defend themselves. Such solutions include:
- Deterring patent troll activity by cracking down on deceptive behavior that accompanies bad faith demand letters.
- Protecting customers who are targeted in patent infringement lawsuits by permitting the case against them to be stayed while the manufacturer litigates the alleged infringement.
- Reforming the patent litigation system to include new heightened pleading requirements, as well as increasing the transparency of patent ownership.
- Reducing the overall cost of abusive patent litigation by balancing discovery demands. This would empower more of our member companies to fight frivolous claims of infringement rather than settle, among other suggestions.
Following the event, Makin stated, "It's clear that both the White House and PIA agree that the economic damage of 'patent trolls' must be strongly combatted. It is our industry's belief that both business and innovation drive the spirit and economy of this nation, and both should be protected from abusive patent trolls.