Apps Alliance Statement to Small Business Committee Calls for Protections for Innovators and Small Businesses from Patent Trolls

WASHINGTON, DC – The Application Developers Alliance sent a statement supporting patent reform to the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship today as they discuss how to best protect the innovations of small businesses as new challenges arise from abuse of patents.

“Patent trolls are costing our Main Streets billions. Nearly one-third of our nation’s startups report getting a demand letter and frivolous demands cost US companies as much as $29 billion per year. This is money that is not spent on innovation or growing our economy,” Jon Potter, President of the Apps Alliance.

“Congress has a responsibility to protect our job-creators and economy from this unethical behavior and this Committee could play an important role in helping promote comprehensive patent reform legislation that will help America’s innovators fight back against patent trolls,” Potter added.

In its statement, the alliance encouraged the Senate to pass comprehensive patent reform legislation that will provide real alternatives to litigation, address the imbalance in litigation burdens, and ensure transparency and specificity in demand letters and judicial complaints.

It also discusses the importance of patent legislation to protect end users that have no input into the planning, production or development of a product. It states that, “because of end user liability thousands of small app developer agencies are not winning business in their communities because potential clients are forced by liability fears to contract instead with large deep-pocketed agencies that can indemnify against multi-million dollar patent infringement risk.”

A poll conducted last year by Small Business Majority found small business owners overwhelmingly support patent reforms including, 82 percent support the creation of new judicial rules to reduce the costs of discovery in patent litigation, so that high legal fees do not force main street businesses to settle out of court when they don’t need to.

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The Application Developers Alliance is a non-profit global membership organization that supports developers as creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. The Apps Alliance, which now includes more than 200 corporate members and 36,000 individual members, launched in January of 2012 and initiated European services in early 2014.  Membership includes app publishers, developer agencies, platforms, wireless carriers, hardware manufacturers, ad networks, enterprise tools and service providers.