Legislative Relief for Small Businesses Needed

Legislative Relief for Small Businesses Needed

If you’ve never hear of a “patent troll” you’re probably not alone.

Imagine this, you’ve come up with a great business model, a super-duper product and consumers want what you have to offer.  You take a trip to one of the many national chain office supply stores and buy an all-in-one printer, scanner, fax machine for $499.99.  All is good so far.

You plug the new “printer” in to power it up, configure it then scan in your first shipping confirmation. All is going great. Then you email the shipping confirmation to a customer. Now you might have a problem. There are a few law firms out there who represent entities known today as “patent trolls”.

The patent troll alleges that he/she has a right to royalties for the use of the software function of emailing a scanned document from one machine to another. Their focus is on smaller companies that don’t have the resources to engage in a costly law suite, so they will settle out of court.

In a very good article from the Wall Street Journal Ruth Simon and Angus Loten write about this despicable activity. The point is, as your State Representative I will introduce legislation that is similar to that of 26 other states, to shield job creators [from the smallest of businesses to the largest] from this type of ligature nuisance.

Simon and Loten write,

“Some new state laws allow companies to sue so-called “patent trolls” in state courts, while setting tougher rules around demand letters—such as a requirement for clear evidence that a company has infringed on a patent, rather than vague accusations. In all, patent bills have been introduced or enacted in 26 states, including Alabama, Maryland and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Entrepreneurs in states without such measures, including Texas, Florida and Arizona, say they feel vulnerable.”

Many politicians talk about improving the regulatory environment and bringing jobs to our economy, but I offer this as just one substantive proposal to actually do it. Arizona is on a path to economic growth and an improving economic outlook. To attract more job creators we must improve the business environment. An improved environment equates to the growth of job opportunities in Arizona. We must look at how we protect entrepreneurs, both large and small, from this litigation threat.

For the entire Wall Street Journal article visit Trolls.

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