WASHINGTON (April 29, 2015) – The R Street Institute welcomed today’s introduction of the the PATENT Act , which seeks to address the problem of rampant patent litigation abuse, which drains billions of dollars each year away from American businesses.
Like H.R. 9, the Innovation Act, which was introduced earlier this year, the Senate bill includes a comprehensive package of civil-litigation reforms designed to tackle widespread litigation abuse. Introduced jointly by a bipartisan group of senators led by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt, the measure differs from the Innovation Act in some notable ways and includes several significant improvements.
“We’re grateful that the chairman and the ranking member have offered both a comprehensive and a balanced framework for patent-litigation reform,” said Mike Godwin, R Street’s director of innovation policy and general counsel. “We also recognize the profound and ongoing contributions to the PATENT Act from Sens. John Cornyn, Mike Lee, Chuck Schumer, Orrin Hatch and Amy Klobuchar.”
“This legislation incorporates and refines the core ideas of the Innovation Act,” Godwin said, adding that, “the bill carefully threads the needle — limiting the abusive behavior of bad actors while maintaining protections for legitimate rights-holders.”
Beyond civil-litigation reform, the PATENT Act also has a provision to address unfair and deceptive demand letter abuse in patent assertion claims. While R Street has voiced opposition  to the TROL Act , a bill introduced earlier this year to address demand letter abuse, Godwin clarified that “R Street’s opposition was based on concerns with loopholes in this particular bill and its preemption of stronger state laws.” As a result, Godwin said, “we strongly support the demand letter reform provisions of the PATENT Act, which don’t suffer these flaws.“
- “PATENT Act”: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/PATENT%20Act.pdf
- “opposition”: http://www.rstreet.org/outreach/letter-to-house-commerce-committee-on-the-trol-act/
- “TROL Act”: http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/hr-targeting-rogue-and-opaque-letters-act-trol-act