The National Venture Capital Association is heavily involved in national policy issues facing the venture capital community. NVCA is concerned with three specific areas that we wanted the MVCA membership to be aware of:
- Fee Shifting – Both bills will increase the risk of patent litigation for startups by creating an overly broad fee shifting standard that gives a significant advantage to large incumbent companies and even large patent trolls that have the financial resources to engage in litigation in ways startups simply can’t match.
- Joinder – Setting a disturbing precedent, H.R. 9 provides not only that startups would be on the hook for legal fees if they lose in patent litigation, but so too would their venture capital investors if the portfolio company goes bankrupt.
- Discovery & Pleadings – Further stacking the deck against small startups, both bills will increase the cost of patent litigation by creating unnecessary requirements in pleadings and opportunities for expensive delays during the discovery process.
Because legislation is moving quickly, we don’t have much time to waste. Get engaged in NVCA’s advocacy efforts today by engaging directly with lawmakers to share your concerns with H.R. 9 and S. 1137.
What you can do:
- Reach out to your local congressman to tell them you have concerns with H.R. 9. Find My Congressman
- Contact the author of H.R. 9, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, to express your concerns with his legislation. Contact Bob Goodlatte
- Contact your state’s senators to tell them you have concerns with S. 1137. Contact Your Senators
To aid in your outreach efforts NVCA has developed a set of talking points and a one-pager outlining their concerns with H.R. 9 and S. 1147. To stay current on NVCA’s national advocacy efforts, please visit the NVCA patent reform page for updates. If you would like to connect directly with NVCA to learn more about what you can do to help or would like to be added to a list to receive updates on the issue, please contact Justin Field at [email protected].