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Hatch Introduces Patent Troll Legislation

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has introduced the Patent Litigation Integrity Act (S.1612), the latest legislative effort to combat patent "trolls."

The bill, which is similar to a bill introduced last week in the House, allows judges to shift fees to those seeking patent claims to help discourage the bad actors who have come to be labeled trolls.

Hatch's bill also requires those seeking claims to put up a bond to prove they can cover those costs if they lose and attorneys fees are awarded to the winner. "Patent trolls are a drain on the innovation in our country and their practices need to end," Hatch said in a statement.

The troll issue is getting a lot of attention on Capitol Hill.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) last week introduced his patent litigation reform bill, the Innovation Act (HR 3309), which cable operators were celebrating and pledged to help get passed. Goodlatte's office defined those trolls as "individuals taking advantage of gaps in the system to engage in litigation extortion."

Earlier this year, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) introduced the Patent Abuse Reduction Act, his own take on combating "abusive patent litigation" by "trolls."

"DISH Network applauds Senator Hatch for introducing the Patent Litigation Integrity Act of 2013," that company said in a statement. "The legislation, if passed, will help spur innovation, and address the growing problem of frivolous patent litigation."