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In a May 22, 2014 press release, the House Energy & Commerce Committee quoted Venable counsel Robert Davis from a recent testimony he gave at a Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee hearing on draft legislation dealing with illegitimate patent demand letters from abusive patent assertion entities (PAEs), or patent trolls.

On behalf of the Stop Patent Abuse Now Coalition, Davis supported the draft’s main goal of clarifying the Federal Trade Commission’s existing Section 5 authority to bring enforcement actions against those who send unfair or deceptive patent settlement demand letters. “The bill targets unfair or deceptive practices masquerading as legitimate patent demand letters. As such, addressing this problem is not about patent policy, and it’s not about the First Amendment,” said Davis. He focused on the definitions and preserving the FTC’s existing authority to pursue other unfair or deceptive practices not otherwise covered in the bill as areas for continued improvement.