Legislative Agenda: 2015, The Year of Reform?
Analysis: While the general idea is to go after shell companies that exist only to shake down vulnerable, small businesses, which can't afford high legal expenses to defend themselves, for what is largely viewed as extortion, the question becomes: What is a troll?
Lyons notes that if any entity that sells a patent is defined as such, then a university or a research institute could fall under that heading. Reform legislation doesn't necessarily mean these quote/unquote patent holders will go away. When law and politics are fused, there are absolutely zero certainties.
Issue: Postal Rate Hikes, USPS Restructuring
Where it Stands: The House passed a reform bill back in 2013, but the Senate had no such luck behind the efforts of Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), whose S. 1486—the Postal Reform Act of 2013—could not get off the ground. In fact, the printing industry found some provisions so toxic that Lyons had to go to bat AGAINST the bill. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) championed the mailing industry's postal cause, but her amendment to keep the bill afloat and keep the process moving was defeated.
Print Lobby Viewpoint: Partisanship is more about geography and less about party lines. But as the tug of war continues, the printing industry's needs remain unchanged. It needs price certainty and affordability with postal rates to enable marketers to better plan the mailing aspect of their marketing campaigns.
"It's important that the U.S. government be able to show that the USPS is not going to be turning off its lights anytime soon, that the financial woes of the Postal Service aren't going to cause service and standard delays," Lyons contends. "We need to have stability and affordability going forward. There are ways to do that—both financially and by restructuring some of the labor costs and infrastructure of the Postal Service."