The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association are backing patent-transparency legislation following a growing number of hoteliers that had been sued by PAEs for installing wireless Internet services on their properties.
Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), make money by buying and asserting patent rights, and are creating problems for companies using the technology, hitting them with frivolous lawsuits. THe problem is now extending to travel companies and hotels that install mobile networks.
“The hotel industry is seeing a disturbing rise in the number of frivolous lawsuits filed by predatory entities,” AH&LA CEO Katherine Lugar said in a Nov. 18 statement. “These hotels and other end users are being targeted simply for offering wireless Internet access for guests, safety communications between employees and online ordering services.”
The Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), proposes to make it illegal to send threatening letters without backing the assertions with facts. It follows a bill introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that would make the loser in a patent lawsuit pay the winner’s legal fees.
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