Innovators are the backbone of our economy and great inventions should be celebrated and protected. Far too many startups and small businesses are the victims of patent trolls who abuse the patent system. We support strong patent laws that protect against abusive litigation, improve patent quality, and curb vague and threatening demand letters .
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Secretary Hillary Clinton, has released a 14-page position paper outlining her technology platform. Five broad themes help frame Secretary Clinton’s Initiative on Technology & Innovation. These five themes include goals that, if achieved, would support the developer workforce.
Home to many of the world’s most iconic technology companies, California is a global breeding ground for innovation. Representative Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), whose Congressional district is based in Orange County, understands that the work of software developers drives the 21st century economy. Representative Walters is working hard to use her business experience to foster an environment conducive to investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Imagine receiving a vague, threatening, but perfectly legal letter demanding that you either pay tens of thousands of dollars or fight an expensive lawsuit in a court halfway across the country. For many small businesses and entrepreneurs, America’s patent system turns this nightmare into a reality.
The Application Developers Alliance and United for Patent Reform took to Capitol Hill this week as Alliance members fought for fair patent laws—a crucial issue for the developer workforce. Small business owners understand that patent trolls inflict damage beyond business costs. They know the real human costs of patent trolling.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring recently established the Patent Troll Unit, delivering another serious blow to “bad faith” claims of patent troll activity. These predatory practices stifle innovation and small business growth by abusing the U.S. patent system.
On Tuesday, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union Address. After highlighting notable accomplishments over the past seven years in office, the president also presented his goals for his final year in office. Among the goals the he rattled off were things like college tuition reform, cancer research, tax cuts, regulation reform, and importantly, a redoubling of our efforts to train more computer-savvy kids. Said President Obama, “we should … offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one and support more great teachers for our kids.”
Elected just three years ago, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D, N.Y.) has already proven to be an effective voice for developers in Congress. Since arriving in Washington, Rep. Jeffries has outlined an aggressive agenda to ensure the United States remains the world’s innovation leader by strengthening education and protecting intellectual property. He sits on the House Judiciary Committee as well as the House Education and Workforce Committee. In addition, he is a member of the International Anti-Piracy Caucus, co-chairs the bipartisan Intellectual Property Caucus, and serves as Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus.
This week, the Application Developers Alliance joined large and small businesses to urge Congress to swiftly pass comprehensive patent reform legislation as part of the United for Patent Reform Coalition’s Fly-In.
As one of four Commissioners at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Terrell McSweeny plays an important role in protecting consumers. Since being appointed as a Commissioner in April 2014, Commissioner McSweeny has already left her mark as a thoughtful policy leader on issues important to developers like data use and innovation, security, encryption, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Commissioner McSweeny’s deep policy experience, including as an advisor to President Obama and Vice President Biden on areas including innovation and intellectual property, make her uniquely suited for her role as Commissioner.