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Pelosi Statement on the Passage of the Innovation Act

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 3309, the “Innovation Act,” by a vote of 325 to 91.

“Innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit are cornerstones of America’s economic growth and global competitiveness.  Through groundbreaking invention, our entrepreneurs create products and services that revolutionize business, benefit consumers, and create good-paying jobs for hardworking Americans.  That is why we must ensure the United States patent system works to support – not suppress – the success of American innovation.

“Critical to protecting America’s pioneers is preventing non-practicing entities, or patent ‘trolls,’ from unfairly using legal processes to badger small businesses and consumers.  House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers offered a strong substitute to today’s legislation that provides for expanded transparency of patent ownership, greater respect for the federal judiciary, and increased protections of customers and small businesses that often face unnecessary harassment.

“While the Innovation Act also seeks to address these issues, it does not go far enough to address pre-trial demand letters that can confuse and cost entrepreneurs and it includes a controversial fee-shifting provision that could tilt the legal system against innovators.  In Congress, we must do more to prevent poor quality patents and bring an end to devastating sequester cuts that have cost the Patent and Trademark Office nearly $150 million in FY2013; have resulted in 1000 fewer patent examiners; and have needlessly delayed a vital patent office in Silicon Valley. 

“Few places exemplify America’s potential for trailblazing innovation than my hometown of San Francisco.  My vote to advance the Innovation Act comes with the hope that the final legislation will fully ensure that the extraordinary entrepreneurs in San Francisco and across the country receive full protection of the research and technology that will be source of America’s strength for generations to come.”