House Lawmakers Pass Bill To Discourage Patent Trolls

Jun 3, 2014

Credit Jessica Jones

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that seeks to deter the practice of bringing unfounded patent claims against companies in order to win settlements.

House Bill 1032 passed unanimously Tuesday afternoon. Republican representative Tom Murry is the measure's primary sponsor.

"[The bill] will add a new section to the unfair and deceptive trade practices statute in North Carolina to go after what we call patent trolls," says Murry.

That's the widely used term for people or companies who sue patent holders in an attempt to collect licensing fees or win money in court. The bill would allow companies to seek damages against those who sue over a patent case that is eventually found not to have merit.

The North Carolina based software company, SAS supports the bill. So do the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association, among other groups.