Congress has introduced legislation, HR 3309, the Innovation Act of 2013 and S 1720, Patent Transparency and Improvement Acts of 2013, to prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits. The first passed the House on December 5 and was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on December 9, while the second was referred to the same committee on November 18.

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), for one, is encouraging its members to write their elected officials to encourage them to support this legislation.

“Recent patent infringement lawsuit threats have surfaced in the fenestration industry,” says AAMA. “Important legislation to thwart the proliferation of this type of ‘patent trolling’ is currently moving the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.”

According to HR 3309, the legislation, if passed, states those submitting any civil action should include specified details concerning: “ (1) each claim of each patent allegedly infringed, including each accused apparatus, feature, function, method, service or other accused instrumentality; (2) the person alleged to be the direct infringer for each claim alleged to have been infringed indirectly; (3) the principal business of the party alleging infringement; (4) each complaint filed that asserts any of the same patents; and (5) whether the patent has been declared essential, potentially essential or having potential to become essential to any standard-setting body as well as whether the United States or a foreign government has imposed any specific licensing requirements.”

For those who want to urge Congress to pass this legislation, AAMA has a sample letter available for members to use to contact their various representatives.

“Our company and industry colleagues nationwide are wasting time and resources fighting baseless litigation,” says the letter. “We believe much of this litigation is an ‘alley holdup,’ that is an attempt to obtain a quick settlement, so the victim can avoid the high cost of defending the lawsuit.”

AAMA writes in the letter that these latest pieces of legislation “provide the most comprehensive solutions for addressing the problems of patents including: heightened pleading standards, limiting discovery prior to claim construction, transparency of patent ownership and curbing bad faith demand letters.

The sample letter also calls on Congress to “act on these provisions and pass meaningful patent litigation reform in the upcoming session.

Some industry suppliers are also encouraging the industry to voice their opinion on this important issue. Chelsea Building Products, forwarded the information to its customers, urging them to get involved.

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