Bus

Ill. group calls for reform to protect against patent trolls

Posted on April 8, 2014

The Illinois Public Transportation Association (IPTA), along with its members and partners, urged Congress to pass meaningful patent reform legislation.

Transit agencies across the state have been targeted multiple times by patent trolls — shell companies that purchase patents with no intention of innovating, but rather suing those who do. Patent troll threats have cost the U.S. economy $80 billion and counting.

"We call on Congress to pass legislation to curb the meritless attacks on transit agencies and other businesses,” said Laura Calderon, executive director of IPTA. "Without legislative action, patent trolls will go on unchecked while our services and the customers who use them will suffer."

Public transit agencies have been forced to settle with trolls rather than incur hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars in legal fees, which could be used deploying high-efficiency buses, investing in improved light and commuter rail systems, or enhancing public transit options throughout Illinois. Defending meritless claims comes at the expense of taxpayers at a time when public transit needs are great.

"Transit agencies are run by public money and we are at a disadvantage to defend ourselves from frivolous lawsuits by patent trolls," said Bill Volk, managing director of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. "Now is the time for reform because this is just the beginning."

Transit agencies are not the only ones being targeted. Businesses of all sizes and in all industries are at risk. Partners that provide technology to better serve riders, including cameras on buses and monitoring equipment for tracking vehicles and their estimated time of arrival, have been threatened.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing last week and is currently discussing reforms to the patent system. IPTA and many of its members traveled to Washington, D.C. in March to speak directly with staff members in the offices of several members of Congress.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

2,627 complaints lodged on Fla.'s HART bus system

The unedited complaints represent only one side of the story and often are fired off by people who are upset. HART says its own GPS and video technology shows many are plain wrong. The agency relies upon the list to target areas of customer service that are in need of improvement.

CHK America wins bus stop improvement contract for GRTC

The three-tiered project will include redesigning the information for more than 2,000 stops throughout the Greater RIchmond Transit Company's service area.

Connecticut's CTfastrak BRT system begins service

The CTfastrak transit system provides direct service to and from Waterbury, Cheshire, Southington, Bristol, Plainville, New Britain, Newington, West Hartford, Hartford, East Hartford and Manchester with routes that take advantage of the bus-only CTfastrak roadway.

Albuquerque BRT project exploring full sponsorship

ABQ RIDE is looking to model its plan after the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s HealthLine, which is sponsored through a hospital partnership. Construction on the so-called ART system could begin in May 2016 with an in-service date of September 2017.

New luxury bus service launches in San Francisco

The service, which costs $6 a ride, asks riders to download the Leap app, creating an account, uploading a photo and adding a credit card that enables them to pay via a QR code.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close