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NAR issues Call for Action: Stop patent trolls

posted Aug 7, 2015, 9:18 AM by Richard D'Ascoli   [ updated Aug 7, 2015, 9:19 AM ]
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https://realtorparty.realtoractioncenter.com/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3895&utm_source=rac&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=trolls2015

WASHINGTON – July 21, 2015 – Patent trolls use vaguely worded demand letters to bully Realtor-owned businesses into paying exorbitant ransoms for using everyday business practices. In most cases, an unexpected bill simply arrives in the mail demanding payment.

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) supports H.R. 9, a bill in Congress that would close the legal loopholes that allow patent trolls to thrive.

"Realtors are targeted by patent trolls at alarming rates for simply using common business technologies like drop-down menus and search functions on websites, or scan-to-email technologies found in every office scanner," NAR says in a letter asking all members to contact their Washington lawmakers. "Patent trolls exist solely to purchase old patents and to use the threat of expensive lawsuits to extort money from legitimate businesses. Congress must pass common-sense comprehensive patent litigation reform to protect Main Street businesses and Realtors from patent troll abuse."

Patent trolls were an $80 billion problem in 2013, according to a study cited by NAR at a congressional hearing in March. It casts a pall on businesses, particularly small ones, because it forces them to divert resources away from their core activities to focus on patent issues, NAR said.

NAR's Realtor Action Center system allows Realtor members to contact their personal representatives in Washington, and it takes only a few minutes to do via email. The association hopes to flood lawmakers' email inboxes with requests for passage of H.R. 9.

To participate, visit NAR's Realtor Action Center webpage Stop Patent Trolls (H.R. 9).