Apps Alliance Hosted Sen. Grassley for Patent Reform Discussion in Des Moines

IA Business Leaders and Startups Call on Congress to Pass Patent Reform

Des Moines, IA – Today, the Application Developers Alliance hosted Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), as well as Iowa entrepreneurs and business owners, for an in-depth patent reform discussion. The conversation, which included victims of patent abuse, focused on the urgent need for Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to protect businesses from patent trolls. In his new role as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Grassley spoke to business owners about the importance of addressing abuses in the patent system and the need for Congress to enact meaningful reforms done.  

"I am pleased to join small and large Iowa businesses and Senator Grassley for joining our discussion about patent trolls and reform legislation," said Jon Potter, President of the App Developers Alliance. "Senator Grassley is quickly establishing his leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee and his support on this important issue by joining us today. We trust that the stories of troll abuse, lost jobs and money wasted on legal fees will make it back to Washington, and that Congress will do the right thing and pass patent reform legislation to protect true American innovators."

"Patents exist to support innovation and growth for companies, not extortion-by-litigation," said Cary Coppola, CEO of Blue Compass. "As an owner of a digital marketing and web design company, which started in a basement and has grown to employ 30 professionals, I have been placed in front of these threats on multiple occasions. As a small company that has grown both ourselves and our clients' businesses, Blue Compass' exposure to these 'Patent Trolls' undeservingly grows as well."

"I support a patent process that protects and rewards individuals and companies for true innovations. This is a hallmark of American business," said Jeff Russell, President and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa. "However, our current patent system allows owners of patents that never should have issued to pursue litigation against companies that amounts to extortion.  Companies must choose between costly legal defense bills or a settlement, in effect rewarding the so-called 'trolls' for their litigious business model. We need federal patent reform to protect both the rights of true innovators and those who are caught in these expensive lawsuits."

The Application Developers Alliance represents entrepreneurs and innovators of all sizes who believe Congress has a responsibility to take action on patent reform legislation. Many lawsuits are brought by patent litigation companies that do not develop products or offer any service, but rather extort and extract unfair fees from innovators. The Alliance supports strong patent reform legislation that promotes real innovation by improving patent quality, prohibits trolls from sending vague enforcement threats, and curbs abusive patent litigation.

The event was held at Gravitate in downtown Des Moines. Gravitate is a member-driven community of more than 100 entrepreneurs, innovators, remote workers, startup teams and others.

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The Apps Alliance is a non-profit global membership organization that supports developers as creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. We promote app industry growth and advocate on behalf of our members on public policy and industry issues. The Apps Alliance serves more than 36,000 individual members and more than 200 companies, including app publishers, platforms, wireless carriers, hardware manufacturers, ad networks, enterprise tools and service providers.