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Proposed Competition Bill Would Set a Dangerous Precedent and Weaken Consumer Welfare

WASHINGTON, DC. — Jeff Joseph, President and CEO of SIIA, issued the following statement:

“SIIA and our members support legislative and regulatory measures designed to maintain and foster a healthy digital ecosystem. We are concerned that the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, announced last week in the U.S. Senate, would have a detrimental effect on consumer welfare, on small- and medium-sized businesses, and on U.S. innovation and global competitiveness.

The bill would force consumers to pay more for free or low-cost services they rely on every day and set inconvenient barriers to access these services. Further, the bill would restrict the ability of small and medium-sized businesses to access tools essential to reaching customers and managing operations. This will likely increase the costs of doing business and result in higher prices for consumers.

This legislation sets a dangerous precedent. It appears targeted at specific companies in favor of specific business interests, undermining efforts to foster more innovation and competition in the United States.

Rather than devoting time to this bill, Congress should develop and pass balanced, comprehensive federal privacy law. A federal privacy law has bipartisan support and is essential to further consumer protection and foster a stronger innovation environment in the United States.

SIIA stands ready to work with Congress, the administration and other stakeholders to advance consumer privacy and promote innovation in digital technology.”

ABOUT SIIA:

SIIA, the principal U.S. trade association for the software and digital content industries, with over 450 members, is the largest association of software and content publishers in the country. We represent financial information providers, educational technology companies, publishers, start-up firms, and some of the largest and most recognizable corporations in the world.
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Statement on Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act of 2021

The Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act of 2021, introduced in the House of Representatives, is an extreme way to address a legitimate and critical concern – the spread of hate speech and misinformation. We need a thoughtful and consensus-driven approach to these problems that does not stifle innovation, regardless of the businesses’ size or popularity. The new bill is open-ended about what sorts of harmful content are creating problems, relies on standards that will be impossible to implement, and undercuts First Amendment values. We stand ready to work with Congress, the administration and other concerns to develop balanced and effective measures to combat the scourge of hate speech and misinformation.

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SIIA Hails Introduction of Restoring the America Invents Act

Today, Senators Leahy and Cornyn introduced the bipartisan “Restoring the America Invents Act,” which drew praise from the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). 

Ten years ago, the America Invents Act received widespread bipartisan support when it passed Congress because it created a less expensive way of determining a patent’s quality without the expense of litigation. When Congress passed that law, it intended that anyone sued under a patent (that was likely to be invalid) could challenge the quality of that patent without the prohibitive  costs of getting a court decision. 

During the last administration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received widespread criticism for adopting an administrative rule denying requests for agency review if a judicial proceeding were pending.   

“SIIA, along with the retail, restaurant and many other industries, strongly supported the AIA’s passage,” said Chris Mohr, SIIA’s VP for Intellectual Policy and General Counsel. “The PTO’s past practice of refusing to review patents that it knows are reasonably likely to be invalid is a clear violation of what the AIA was intended to do.”  

“We believe this bill goes a long way towards both restoring the intent of the AIA and bringing increased transparency to the patent system by insulating administrative patent decisions from political interference.  We support this needed new legislation, and look forward to working with Senators Leahy,  Cornyn and other members of Congress as the process unfolds.” 

About SIIA

For more than 50 years, SIIA has united the information industries. Today, SIIA’s umbrella organization connects more than 450 diverse members who manage the global financial markets, develop software that solves today’s challenges through technology and provide critical information that help inform global businesses of all sizes. As the only professional organization representing Ed Tech, SIIA’s members bridge the gap educating students and the workforce driving innovation and growth.

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Paul Lekas

Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy

Paul Lekas
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