The Innovation Act of 2013, a new bill introduced by Virginia republican Bob Goodlatte with bipartisan support, could put an end to patent trolls and the endless lawsuits that have plagued the tech industry. Experts say the bill—which is supported by both democrats and republicans—has a strong chance of passing through congress.
The bill takes several approaches to shutting down the now-lucrative patent trolling business. If the Innovation Act of 2013 passes, the loser in any patent trial would be forced to pay the winner’s legal fees, discouraging trolls from filing lawsuits in the first place. The bill would also block the plaintiff from requesting private documents of the defendant in an effort to cut down on legal fees for defending tech companies during the early stages of the trial, making it easier for the media to cover the patents in question, and crackdown on shell companies.
The Innovation Act is just one of several bills under consideration by Congress as the tech industry and the U.S. government pull together to fight off patent trolls. However, a number of experts, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, believe this is the bill to do the job. Congress is expected to set a timeline to vote as soon as next week.