WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Vice President for Government Relations and Political Affairs Beth Provenzano following the release of the Federal Trade Commission’s Patent Assertion Entity Activity study. According to the study, 17 percent of companies receiving demands for payment from patent trolls are retailers, who also make up 10 percent of all defendants in patent litigation and 13 percent of companies paying royalties to patent trolls.
“Congress should use the momentum from this study to pass legislation to reform patent laws as soon as they return from the October recess. The common sense suggestions that the FTC presented today would level the playing field for retailers who are currently battling patent trolls, and bring balance to the patent litigation system that is vital for the retail industry.
“This report reveals data supporting the facts we have been presenting to members of Congress for many years – that retailers are being victimized by patent trolls’ abusive practices, and that this abuse is diverting vital resources that retailers could otherwise use to invest and grow their businesses, further innovation and create jobs.”
The study is the conclusion of an investigation into patent trolls the FTC began in 2013.
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com