Dear Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Leahy, and Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,

We are proud to support the PATENT Act. We believe it is a well-rounded piece of legislation that, taken as a whole, will directly address a dangerous patent troll problem.

We understand conversations are under way regarding the inter partes review (IPR) program, a successful cornerstone of 2011’s America Invents Act. IPR is a necessary tool for the public interest and small companies because it offers a more affordable avenue for challenging the mass of low-quality patents on limited grounds. Because low-quality patents are the favorite weapon of patent trolls, we strongly support the IPR proceeding and would object to efforts to weaken it or make it less accessible to resource-limited parties.

However, to the extent that the Senate believes changes to the contours of IPR—and other post-grant reviews—should be considered as part of the PATENT Act, we believe there are areas where these proceedings could be strengthened, and would like to suggest the following improvements:

Flushing the system of invalid patents is a task of monumental public interest, and the AIA’s IPR provisions were specifically intended to advance that public interest. We hope that the conversation about IPR can be enhanced by considering how the program may be made more fair toward those who do a service to the whole economy by challenging low-quality patents. We look forward to continuing to engage with you in further discussions on this subject.


Public Knowledge
Electronic Frontier Foundation
R Street Institute


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