Illinois REALTORS® are joining colleagues across the nation in calling on Congress to address the issue of patent trolls. A national Call for Action was issued two weeks ago, and Illinois is closing in on a goal of having 20 percent of its members write to federal elected officials to tell them this problem must be addressed.
The map above shows participation rates by IAR’s local associations through 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. The Decatur Association of REALTORS® leads in responses with more than 40 percent of its members sending emails to federal lawmakers. Overall, more than 18 percent of IAR’s members have responded to the Call for Action. (The Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS®, which due to technical reasons is not listed on the map, has a 7.12 percent response rate.)
The Call for Action targets so-called patent trolls, companies or individuals who buy up or claim patents that can be broadly applied to basic technology. The patent trolls often send demand letters claiming their rights have been violated for things as simple as fax machines and drop-down menus on a website.
The National Association of REALTORS® issued the call because patent trolls can have a huge impact on small businesses. Faced with fighting a lengthy legal fight, many companies choose to pay the patent trolls’ demands rather than risk an expensive court battle.
If you haven’t responded to the Call for Action, do so today. Click here to make your voice heard.