Lisa Madigan, Caterpillar officials tout anti ‘patent-troll’ measure

Aug 14, 2014

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined Caterpillar officials in Mossville Thursday to tout state legislation on the governor’s desk. Madigan’s office helped draft a measure that cracks down on so-called ‘patent trolls.’ That’s the practice of sending letters demanding money from businesses, falsely claiming the business violated a patent. Madigan says the new law also allows Caterpillar to continue sending letters to businesses that might be violating Cat’s patents and using their technology:

 “We did need to stop the fraud that’s taking place, that’s widespread. And so we’re very targeted in our approach to doing it, which other states have not been. And so that was the concern that Cat brought to us, that we recognize as an extremely valid one, and so we worked with them hand in hand to make sure that our legislation narrowly addresses the problem, and allows the innovation to continue,” Madigan says.

 Madigan says she wants to see Congress adopt national patent protections for companies while also banning demand letters that contain false information.  Caterpillar officials say the company has 14,000 total active and pending patents worldwide.  The company was granted more than 1,100 patents last year alone.