McAuliffe Signs Development Stimulation, Anti-Patent Trolling Laws
RICHMOND, Va (WVIR) -
Governor Terry McAuliffe signed off on laws that politicians on both sides of the aisle can agree on Wednesday. The legislation will mean two things: cracking down on patent trolls and stimulating research and development through tax credits.
"I love it. It gets us moving in the next direction, helps us bring businesses in, which is really so important for what we need to do,” McAuliffe said.
The two policies gained bipartisan support within Virginia's House and Senate. The first, spearheaded by Attorney General Mark Herring, extends tax credits for research and development. He and the governor say this will spur investment and startup companies.
"We’ve got to be competitive, and what we signed with the R & D tax credit makes us competitive," McAuliffe said.
The other law signed Wednesday will work against the trend of phony claims of patent infringement. Businesses of all types in Virginia have fallen prey to a hoax called "patent trolling,” which happens when false claims come in, demanding payments and settlements from companies.
"It would be nice to have some federal legislation to help protect against this kind of abuse, and I'm supportive of those efforts but we can't wait around for that to happen,” Herring said.
Now, the attorney general's office has gained the power to investigate and crack down on these deceptive and fraudulent practices. And by working on two different issues, lawmakers hope to welcome in a new era.
"It's taking Virginia where we need to go to make us competitive with business, helping us grow, diversify,” McAuliffe said.
According to the attorney general's office, patent trolling takes $29 billion out of the U.S. economy every year. Lawmakers say they hope more action is taken on the federal level from here.
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