EDIT THIS LETTER AS YOU LIKE AND SEND IT TO YOUR CONGRESSMAN IF YOU AGREE WITH IT.
Google the term "Patent Troll".
What do you find?
In this country, companies that deliver NO goods or services of ANY sort commonly file ludicrous patents that describe "inventions" that have actually been in common use for many years. The trademark and patent offices commonly approves these patents, even though they clearly describe ideas that are already in common use and have been for years.
Once the patent-trolling company has obtained their ridiculous, often-vague, and clearly invalid patent (due to its being pre-dated by countless earlier invention), it then proceeds to sue anyone that attempts to run their business in a manner that may in some ways be similar to the ridiculous patent that it holds.
Defense of these frivolous lawsuits run about two million dollars and two years for a SMALL company. This tremendous defense cost causes almost all of the small businesses that are sued to settle with the Patent Troll, and their ability to run a small business, or innovate, are destroyed in the process.
As with many frivolous lawsuits, this is simply legalized extortion, and the damage to our country from its ongoing practice is in-estimable (though the direct dollar-cost to defendants is estimated at 500 BILLION dollars per year).
The SHIELD act may help to alleviate this problem by forcing Patent Trolls to pay the defense cost of the people they are suing, and you should vote for it. A more comprehensive solution would be for those who file frivolous lawsuits to ALWAYS pay the defense costs of the other side, and for juries to be made not of random people with NO expertise in the subject matter of the trial, but instead of people that ARE knowledgeable and expert in the material relevant to each civil trial in this country.
Look here to see the story of an individual innovator in this country:
...and there are may more cases like this as well.
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