NYACS Commends Senator Schumer for Protecting Businesses From 'Patent Trolls'

New Legislation Would Rein in Abusive Patent Infringement Litigation

ALBANY, NY (05/04/2015)(readMedia)-- The New York Association of Convenience Stores today commended U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York for taking the initiative to protect businesses from meritless lawsuits filed by "patent trolls."

Last week, Senator Schumer joined Senators John Cornyn, Charles Grassley and Patrick Leahy introduced the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act of 2015 to combat a growing problem that spawned an estimated 2,800 such lawsuits and economic losses of $80 billion last year across the country.

Patent trolls are entities that purchase patents and then send letters to businesses alleging infringement of those patents. They target not only manufacturers who may have used a patented technology in making the product, but businesses that purchased and used the product without any way of knowing there might be a hidden patent issue.

"The demand is crystal clear: pay up, or else we'll bleed you dry in a courtroom somewhere in Eastern Texas," said Senator Schumer. "That bright future suddenly looks awfully dim, as the thought of millions of dollars in legal fees keeps the business owner up at night."

"Whether you're a chain or a single-store operator, every retailer is at risk of one of these frivolous lawsuits," said Jim Calvin, NYACS President. "Over the past decade, patent trolls have increasingly targeted Main Street businesses, including homebuilders, restaurants, convenience stores, truckers, innkeepers and grocers. This is no accident. They target businesses that lack the legal or financial resources to fight back."

"The PATENT Act will restore a balance that has been missing for years in patent litigation," said Calvin. "We're grateful to Senator Schumer for recognizing the problem and leading the fight to rein in patent trolls."

Headquartered in Albany, the New York Association of Convenience Stores represents more than 1,600 stores that serve 1.5 million customers daily. NYACS is a member of United for Patent Reform, a coalition advocating for a comprehensive solution to patent abuse.