The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has welcomed the introduction of the Innovation Act 2013 by the US House of Representatives, but suggested there is room for improvement on key provisions.

The Act is designed to reform patent troll litigation abuse by levelling the playing field for plaintiffs and defendants, protecting end users from patent trolls, and improving the quality of patent requirements.

"It is time to end the abusive and frivolous lawsuits perpetuated by nuisance patent trolls," said AAFA president and CEO Kevin Burke. "The US apparel and footwear industry, like so many other industries across our economy, will face continued threats of unwarranted litigation unless we reign in this behaviour. The Innovation Act is a step in the right direction."

While the legislation has to now move to the Senate for consideration, Burke said there is still opportunity to improve key provisions of the legislation.

"While we support the intent of the Innovation Act, we urge Congress to go further in preventing this abusive practice by strengthening key provisions of the bill. For example, the customer stay of enforcement provision, which would require any customers of a product to be subject to the outcome of the initial lawsuit no matter what that outcome is, should be more limited in scope."

Nonetheless, passage of the Act was also welcomed by The National Retail Federation (NRF), which said it was "pleased" the House had "strongly supported" the enactment of patent litigation reform.

"This has been and continues to be a top priority for the retail industry and our diverse membership," said NRF senior vice president David French. "The Innovation Act will provide Main Street merchants and retailers protection against frivolous patent infringement claims and costly litigation derived from deceptive patent trolls."