Protecting businesses that are improperly targeted by patent trolls is gaining support in Washington.
Sen. Patrick Leahy spoke at MyWebGrocer in Winooski Wednesday about the legislation to protect innovators.
Patent trolls are people or companies that buy broad technology patents with the intent of suing other companies for illegally infringing on those patents. The trolls hope the companies will pay settlements to avoid litigation.
MyWebGrocer has been a victim of several of patent trolls.
"It's not only the litigation costs but the material costs, like the growth of company as the result of threats that people don't want to deal with because the cost can be so great," said Jerry Tarrant of MyWebGrocer.
"They haven't done anything to create a product, have no inventive genius in them they're just using it to make money and that's wrong and we outta be able to stop them," said Leahy, D-Vermont.
The bill would set penalties for frivolous patent lawsuits and give businesses more resources to defend themselves.