The U.S. Travel Association and the Travel Technology Association praised the introduction of the Innovation Act of 2013, H.R. 3309, by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.). The legislation could end patent litigation abuse the associations see as a barrier to growth.
"For too long, travel has been among the industries subjected to wasteful, baseless technology infringement lawsuits that undermine businesses' productivity and ability to create jobs," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "Travel is America's No. 1 services export and a leading driver of the U.S. economic recovery, but unscrupulous legal tactics by a few greedy individuals have prevented the industry from performing at its full potential."
Earlier this month, U.S. Travel noted it sent a letter, co-signed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the American Society of Travel Agents and the Travel Technology Association, to House and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders urging action on this issue.
Steve Shur, president of The Travel Technology Association, which represents the online travel industry, also issued a statement applauding Chairman Goodlatte and the bipartisan group of original co-sponsors for their leadership.
“This legislation is a positive step toward addressing the critically necessary reforms to eliminate harmful predatory legal tactics preferred by patent trolls. We must put an end to such practices so we can continue to grow our economy, create jobs and promote and facilitate travel. For online travel companies, defending these frivolous patent troll lawsuits is among their highest ongoing legal expenses," Shur said.
“Travel is one of America’s largest industries. In 2012, it generated $2 trillion in economic output, and directly generated $129 billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments. The technology developed by Travel Tech’s members plays a significant role in the travel and tourism economy by providing the infrastructure upon which almost all travel is searched, compared and booked," Shur said.
"Innovation is critical to the continued competitiveness of our nation as a travel leader around the world. Defending against frivolous patent claims and lawsuits inhibits our member companies’ ability to continue to innovate and drive travel and tourism in the US. Travel Tech and its members look forward to providing input on the bill and to working with Chairman Goodlatte and members of the Committee on these and other proposals to address these patent troll issues," Shur said.
The Travel Technology Association represents online travel companies (OTCs) and global distribution systems (GDSs). Travel Tech’s members include: Amadeus, Sabre, Travelport, Expedia, Orbitz Worldwide, Priceline, Travelocity, and Vegas.com.