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4A’s/ANA New Joint Initiative to Collect & Share Marketing-Related Patent Assertion Information 

The 4A's and ANA are pleased to announce the Patent Assertion Information Aggregation and Dissemination Program (PAID). PAID is a collaboration platform which will help agencies, and marketers monitor and thereby better assess patent risk through information sharing associated with marketing-related patent assertion activities.

Patent assertion entities (PAEs) are creating undue risk in the advertising industry by asserting patents that read on commonly used advertising technology and processes, and demanding costly settlements. The 4A's and ANA have been endeavoring to address this problem in several ways including: (1) operational practices to help monitor and management PAE risk and (2) systemic reform to curtail abuses of the USA patent system.

About PAID
Under the PAID program, ANA and 4A's will collect basic information on patent assertions against members, in a confidential manner. The information will be aggregated and combined with more general information relating to patent assertions that are relevant to marketing activity and frequently utilized digital functions.

The associations have retained the services of patent experts from K&L Gates and Reed Smith who will provide periodic Patent Assertion Landscape Summary (PALS) information updates to association members. PALS information updates will provide association members with a strategic advantage in monitoring and assessing patent assertion demands by PAEs.

We urge all 4A's members to participate in the ANA/4A's PAID patent assertion information collection program. Information related to the 4A's/ANA Patent Assertion Information Aggregation and Dissemination Program can be viewed HERE.

SPAN (Stop Patent Abuse Now)
This summer the 4A's, ANA and other marketing-related groups (MMA, DMA, NRF) created an industry coalition, SPAN (Stop Patent Abuse Now), which is advocating for new laws and regulatory reforms that can inhibit abusive practices of PAEs. There are currently a number of potentially promising patent assertion reform initiatives under consideration. SPAN activities and discussion related to patent reform is available via the 4A's website (Patent Trolling) and the Legislative & Regulatory section of the 4A's Patent Web site.

If you have questions about patent assertion activities or want to understand more about 4A's patent initiatives please contact either Tom Finneran, tfinneran@aaaa.org,  or Dick O'Brien, dick@aaaa.org.

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