May 21, 2014 –ARLINGTON, VA – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Jennifer Hatcher issued the following statement on today’s failure to move forward on critical patent reform legislation: 

“Today’s announcement of the continued delay on a patent reform vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee is both disappointing for our industry and a win for the trolls. FMI has worked with other retail groups and end-users for over a year to bring an end to the abusive practices of patent trolls.

“While the U.S. Senate has failed to act, states have chosen to take on the trolls and are winning. This year in the Virginia legislature, Delegate Israel O’Quinn was successful in moving patent demand letter legislation through both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support.  HB375 passed the Virginia House with a resounding 98-to-1 vote and a similar vote of 40 to 1 in the Virginia Senate. We hope to see similar action in other states soon.

“Unfortunately, states are limited in what they can do to protect consumers and businesses from patent trolls, and Congress must also act to put an end to their abusive practices.  Last year, the House passed Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s patent reform bill (H.R.3309) with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 325 to 91.  In the six months since the House acted, FMI has worked with the Senate Judiciary Committee and other stakeholders to try and find a path forward. 

“FMI remains committed to finding real solutions that will once and for all put the trolls out of business.”