A U.S. Senate bill intended to crack down on frivolous patent lawsuits has floundered after months of negotiation between key stakeholders. The bill aimed to discourage so-called patent trolls—companies that amass patents with no intention of making any product and instead generate revenue by filing suits against allegedly infringing firms. But opponents of the bill—including university groups and biotech firms—feared the Senate’s offensive against patent predators would make it too costly for legitimate patent holders to protect their claims.
On Wednesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D–VT), who introduced the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act in November 2013, pulled it from Thursday’s Judiciary Committee agenda. “Regrettably, competing companies on both sides of this issue refused to come to agreement,” Leahy said in a statement. The bill has been postponed repeatedly, and it is now unlikely that Congress will have time to act on it this year.