Obama Promotes Patent Reform in State of the Union Draws Lots of Cheers from Audience

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If you blinked, you might have missed President Obama's flyby support in his State of the Union for legislation to stop abusive patent troll practices. It amounted to one sentence early in the speech:

"And let's pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly, needless litigation," Obama said Tuesday night.

That was it. Although Obama has called for patent reform before—and even passed executive actions—the one sentence in the high-profile address got a lot of folks in Washington working on the issue revved up, eliciting longer statements than the one Obama made in his speech.

"The days of patent trolls taking $80 billion a year out of our economy, and terrorizing innovative and hard-working businesses, are numbered. American businesses large and small are cheering the president's call tonight. Abuse of the broken patent system by patent trolls hurts main street businesses, as well as the Internet industry," said Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of The Internet Association.

Other organizations that quickly responded with statements, tweets or emails included the 4A's, the Consumer Electronics Association, The National Retail Federation, the Patent Fairness Coalition, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and the App Developers Alliance.

Patent troll legislation passed the House late last year, but there's been a lull on the Senate side, where a similar bill still sits with Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Mike Lee (R-Utah).