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Lodging Industry Thanks House Of Representatives For Passage Of Patent Troll Bill

Goodlatte “Innovation Act” important to ending $80 billion annual economic hit.

Friday, December 06, 2013
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The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry, issued the following statement regarding today’s passage of The Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) by the U.S. House of Representatives on a strong bipartisan vote of 325-91:

“Passage of The Innovation Act is an important step towards protecting the hotel industry from ‘patent trolls’ and the ever-increasing number of frivolous, predatory lawsuits filed by these entities,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “We commend Chairman Goodlatte for his leadership of this legislation and thank all members of the House of Representatives who voted for the bill. Many hoteliers are small ‘mom and pop’-sized businesses that cannot afford to wage costly legal battles brought about simply because they, like many other small businesses, want to offer wireless Internet access for guests, safety communications between employees, and online ordering services.”

“Our industry also thanks Congressmen Jared Polis (D-CO) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) for their willingness to introduce an amendment to The Innovation Act, based on The Demand Letter Transparency Act (H.R. 3540) sponsored together with Congressmen Tom Marino (R-PA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL),” continued Lugar. The Polis-Chaffetz amendment, passed by voice vote, strengthens the demand letter transparency language already included in The Innovation Act and will help ensure that patent trolls cannot hide behind shell companies to conceal their true identities from demand letter recipients.

“The $80 billion annual hit to our national economy caused by 'patent trolls' cannot be allowed to continue, and while we recognize there is more work to be done, we believe the Innovation Act makes important progress on efforts to rein in this abusive litigation and also protect the rights of legitimate patent holders,” Lugar said. “As action moves to the Senate, the lodging industry looks forward to working with Chairman Leahy and Senate leadership to reinforce the importance of this issue to hoteliers everywhere.”

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.
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