NTCA Member Mark Grady Testifies on Patent Reform Before House Committee

 

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Withers, lwithers@ntca.org, 703-351-2086
Wendy Mann, wmann@ntca.org, 703-351-2087

Addresses increased use of patents in the delivery of advanced 911 public safety communications

WASHINGTON (May 15, 2013) – Mark Grady, president of INdigital Telecom (Fort Wayne, Ind.), a member company of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, testified today before the House Committee on Small Business about the increasing role patents are playing in the deployment of advanced 911 public safety communications.

INdigital Telecom is a leading provider of advanced public safety communications services in rural areas of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Grady provided perspective on the challenges small businesses like INdigital face as technologies used to deliver critical communications transition to IP platforms that are sometimes the target of what he called “poor-quality” patents.

“We are increasingly aware that companies are hiring armies of patent attorneys and are buying stagnant companies solely for their patent portfolios,” Grady stated in written testimony. “This brings me to the biggest IP challenge that we and other small businesses face today—the inappropriate assertion of poor quality, over-broad patents.

“As a small business person, an innovator, an employer and a citizen, I believe this cannot be Congress’s intent for our patent system. The patent system should not be used to put Americans’ lives and property in jeopardy by delaying their access to new and innovative 911 public safety and homeland security services.”

Grady’s testimony comes as the House Committee on Small Business is exploring how certain provisions of The America Invents Act of 2011 are affecting small firms and the extent to which changes are needed to improve any adverse impacts of patent assertion entities on small companies.

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NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use. Visit us at www.ntca.org.