Join Marc Maron and Hold the Line Against Patent Trolls

In 2013, a patent troll called Personal Audio tried to shake down podcasters, big and small, for licensing fees. With help from Marc Maron and WTF podcast fans, we challenged the podcasting patent in the Patent Office and in the courts.

Now that patent trolls are losing ground in court, they're looking to get a boost in Congress. Working together with lobbyists for big pharma and IP lawyers' groups, patent trolls are working on a bill that will destroy some of our best legal tools for fighting patent trolls.

We're asking for your help: join Marc, and tell Congress that more bad patents won't help.

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Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) have published a draft bill that will undermine protections of Section 101 of the U.S. Patent Act.

That's the section that puts important limits on what can be patented. For instance, it bans patents on abstract ideas, natural phenomena, and laws of nature. Our patent laws are supposed to keep those basic ideas unpatented—they are the building blocks of scientific progress, available to all.

While there’s no final bill text yet, the Senators and their allies in the House have made it clear they want to undermine the important work that Section 101 does in preventing bad patents. These legislators want to delete the requirement that patented inventions be both “new and useful,” and throw out longstanding case law.

This new policy would benefit patent trolls and companies seeking to thwart competition, but create disastrous consequences for the rest of us. It would make it easier than ever for big pharma and biotech to get patents that would fail under today’s laws, further increasing the cost of health care.

If a final bill looks anything like this proposal, it will render Section 101 toothless to protect small businesses from bad patents. Tell Congress to reject this wrongheaded proposal and make sure our patent system promotes innovation.