President calls for patent reform in SOTU

President Obama repeated his calls for reform patent law during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

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He called on Congress to “pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly and needless litigation.”

Critics of the current patent law system say it allows for “patent trolls” to threaten or bring frivolous lawsuits in the hopes of getting defendants to settle.

The Obama administration has repeatedly made calls for reforms to the patent system, and issued a statement supporting the Innovation Act, a patent reform bill from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), which passed the House last year.

Currently, the issue sits in the Senate, where Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is considering his own bill and proposals from other senators to curb frivolous patent troll lawsuits.

During Tuesday’s address, Obama discussed the significance of innovation, including in the tech industry, to the American economy.

“We know that the nation that goes all in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow,” he said. “This is an edge America cannot surrender.”

Obama called on Congress to “undo the damage done by last year’s cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery,” and credited federally funded research with advances in the tech sector, including “the ideas and inventions behind Google and smartphones.”