ARLINGTON, Va. — Both Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association issued statements in support of new legislation designed to reform the patent system and curb patent abuse.

The Innovation Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is one of several bills seeking to make it more difficult for “patent trolls” — companies that buy patents and file patent infringement suits but do not actually buy or sell anything — to operate. According to retail groups, these entities have increasingly targeted retailers and small businesses.


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“This new legislation will bring greatly needed reforms to our nation’s patent system by addressing the growing problem of patent trolls,” said Erik Lieberman, FMI regulatory counsel. “By increasing transparency, leveling the playing field in the courts and providing relief to end-users of technology, we believe this legislation, if enacted, will significantly reduce the billions of dollars of costs patent trolls impose on our economy each year. Entrepreneurs, retailers and consumers will all benefit from this important legislation.”

Read more: FMI Applauds Efforts to Curb Patent Trolls

Greg Ferrara, vice president of public affairs, NGA, said, "NGA commends Chairman Goodlatte and the House Judiciary Committee for their continued efforts to reform the broken patent system. The Innovation Act of 2013 is a step in the right direction to level the playing field and increase transparency for independent grocers who have increasingly become targets in frivolous patent litigation.”

A hearing on the bill is set for Tuesday, Oct. 29, before the full House Judiciary Committee.

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