In a bipartisan 325-19 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill (H.R. 3309) intended to curb litigation abuse by “patent trolls.” Chief sponsor Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) reportedly said during floor debate, “This bill is something I consider central to U.S. competitive- ness, job creation and our nation’s future economic security.” It would strengthen patent-infringement pleading requirements, shift costs to the losing party and create new discovery rules. While the measure would express the sense of Congress that “purposely evasive demand letters” constitute an abuse of the patent system and include a provision requiring study of their effects, the legislation would impose no further requirements on those sending such letters. The bill now moves to the Senate, where revisions are apparently anticipated. Among the concerns expressed by the bill’s opponents are that the pleading requirements could keep legitimate inventors out of court and fee shifting could favor wealthy parties and chill claims with merit. See The Blog of LegalTimes and Ars Technica, December 5, 2013.