Cea Government and Legal Affairs (GLA)
In Washington, D.C., and state capitals nationwide, legislation and regulations that impact the consumer electronics (CE) industry are being considered every day. CEA Government and Legal Affairs, the legislative voice for consumer electronics, is committed to advising, lobbying and reporting on federal, state and international CE policy on behalf of our members and industry.
Public Policy News
CEA CELEBRATES MAJOR STEPS TOWARDSACHIEVING STRATEGIC IMMIGRATION REFORM
The House and Senate made great strides towards enacting strategic immigration reform during the month of May. On May 21, CEA commended the leadership of Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on reaching a bipartisan agreement on amendments to the high-skilled visas provisions in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744). CEA also joined with other associations in sending a letter to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to express strong support for the agreement to ensure our nation’s skilled temporary visa programs work in a way that protects American workers while enabling our economy to strengthen and grow from access to critically needed talent. CEA, along with 23 other national business organizations and 31 regional business groups, previously sent a letter on May 13 to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that outlined their concerns with the Senate’s bill.
On May 23, in the House of Representatives, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the Supplying Knowledge-Based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act (H.R. 2131), or the SKILLS Visa Act. The SKILLS Visa Act increases the number of H-1B visas, repeals employment based per-country caps, and allocates green cards to foreign-born graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields. If enacted, the bill and reforms like it will allow the United States to be a magnet for the best and brightest to work and build their businesses, create new jobs and contribute to the overall success of the U.S. economy.
As Congress continues to work on a plan for immigration reform, CEA remains active and engaged in the current strategic immigration reform debates. Gary Shapiro, CEA’s president and CEO, appeared on Bloomberg TV on May 24 to discuss the current status of immigration legislation in Congress as well as what CEA is doing to bring awareness for the issue. Michael Petricone, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs for CEA, also participated in a CEA hosted Google + Hangout on May 23 as part of the March for Innovation. The March for Innovation, or iMarch, was a digital march on Washington by thousands of supporters to call Congress’s attention to strategic immigration reform.
CEA PRAISES NEW EFFORTS TO STOP PATENT LITIGATION ABUSE
During May, CEA commended new congressional efforts in both the House and Senate to help combat Patent Assertion Entities (also known as PAEs or patent trolls). On May 6, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the Patent Quality Improvement Act of 2013 (S.866), which enables defendants to seek review of a patent’s validity. This bill will create a quick, cost-effective alternative to expensive litigation and will lessen the pressure for companies subject to lawsuits by patent trolls to pay money to end these frivolous lawsuits. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) also introduced the Patent Abuse Reduction Act (S.1013) on May 22. The bill contains several provisions to help patent trolls go out of business including requiring trolls to clearly identify the plaintiff and imposing legal fees on the losing plaintiff to help discourage frivolous lawsuits.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) introduced the End of Anonymous Patents Act (H.R. 2024) on May 16. Deutch’s bill will better inform parties targeted by patent trolls by requiring the disclosure of patent sales and clarification of ‘real-party-in-interest’ (RPI). House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) also released a discussion draft of legislation on patent reform on May 23 that includes several provisions that will disincentivize frivolous patent lawsuits and bring clarity to the patent process.