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US: Republicans’ new Senate majority to come with renewed patent troll fight

 |  November 20, 2014

As Republicans gear up to take control of the Senate, reports say among their top priorities will be a renewed effort to combat patent trolls.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) spoke Wednesday on the Senate floor to outline efforts to curb anticompetitive patent litigation. “Patent trolls – which are often shell companies that do not make or sell anything – are crippling innovation and growth across all sectors of our economy,” he said.

Hatch is the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, say reports.

While President Barack Obama has similarly called for patent reform, reports say Republicans do not agree with his method for such changes. The Senate failed to bring proposed patent reform legislation to a vote earlier this year after Democrats declined to push the bill forward. Hatch blamed the stall on trial lawyers, which are traditionally Democratic allies.

Trial lawyers opposed the bill, he said, because it included language that would make it easier for victorious defendants to recover legal fees from plaintiffs, according to reports; trial lawyers are concerned that the policy would expand to other forms of litigation.

Despite the disagreements, experts say patent reform is likely to happen next year as the heads of all three government branches appear to agree on the need for change.

Full content: Vox

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