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Posts Tagged: "Congressman Goodlatte"

Patent Reform Returns: Venue Reform Bill to be introduced in Senate

While widespread patent reform seems unlikely during the remainder of the 114th Congress, targeted patent reform is another matter entirely. Indeed, the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship recently held a hearing largely attacking the America Invents Act (AIA) and the current reform bills and in a bi-partisan manner. And this week we may see a bi-partisan push in the Senate for a bill that focuses only on venue reform, which will be co-sponsored by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO). The bill, available in draft form, is titled the Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act of 2016.

President Obama should nominate Judge Raymond Chen to the Supreme Court

Chen, an Obama appointee, was confirmed only several years ago by a vote of 97-0. Born in 1968 he is 47 years old, meaning he could easily serve on the Court throughout the next generation, in modern times an important consideration for a Presidential nomination to the High Court. Chen also comes from the Federal Circuit, which is anything but politically controversial, primarily responsible for handling patent appeals. Chen would also become the first Asian American to serve on the Supreme Court, another potentially important consideration for President Obama, who has shown throughout his term in Office that he likes breaking glass ceilings with appointments and nominations. Thus, Chen would have virtually all the same upside as would Srinavasan without any of the baggage that would make confirmation difficult, if not impossible.

Patent Reform in 2016, Maybe Not as Dead as you Think

As interesting as the Senate may become when patent reform resurfaces, the dynamic in the House will be fascinating for many reasons. Since patent reform stalled there is a new Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI). Speaker Ryan has said he plans to return the House to regular order and allow business to trickle up from members to the full House rather than have legislation forced down from leadership on Members. It is widely known that Goodlatte and Issa continue to want more patent reform and are seeking opportunities to push forward to a vote in the House. Will Speaker Ryan allow the Innovation Act to come to a vote in the House?

How a Washington Breakfast Influenced Conservative Votes on Patent Reform

By May 22, 2015, Congressman Goodlatte scheduled at least three $1,000 a plate breakfasts for wavering Judiciary Committee Conservatives. Money made at these breakfasts went directly to the Conservative’s campaign coffers. While not directly stated, the timing of the breakfasts suggest they might have been intended to influence their vote on patent reform. The secret to maximizing lobbyist donations is to guarantee the proper bang for the buck. For this reason, Goodlatte, whose rank and power matter to crafting legislation favorable to donors, attended these breakfasts personally, allowing his name to be used in order to ensure a larger turnout.

Patent Reform riddled with intended, unintended, and unknown consequences

Most Congressional offices now understand how loser-pay, bonding and joinder stops the flow of capital to innovation startups, how customer stays make defending patent rights impossibly difficult, why eliminating PRG estoppel perpetuates litigation shifting almost all of the costs onto inventors, and how IPR’s and CBM’s unjustly strip property rights and devalue all patents. Rank and file offices seem to be listening. However, key offices are deliberately deaf.

The looming patent nightmare facing the pharmaceutical industry

During the last hearing of the House Judiciary Committee there was an attempt to insert language via amendment that would make it impossible for Kyle Bass and others to challenge pharmaceutical patents via post grant challenge at the Patent Office. Judiciary Chair Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) vociferously objected saying that if the amendment to prevent post grant challenges to pharmaceutical patents passed it would create a so-called scoring problem with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). What an admission by Goodlatte! No legislative help is coming for pharma’s post grant challenge problem because the federal government likes the idea of some patents on important drugs being invalidated, which will save Medicare money.

House Judiciary approves Innovation Act despite clear lack of consensus

Dissent among members of Congress on the nature of the Innovation Act was evident from the opening remarks of the committee’s two ranking members. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the House Judiciary Committee Chairman and the Innovation Act’s major sponsor, stated that the Innovation Act would “ensure that the patent system lives up to its constitutional underpinnings” while targeting the abusive patent litigation which has been central to the debate on patent trolls. The ranking Democratic member of the committee, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), said the bill was overly broad and yet it didn’t adequately address issues significant to this debate, including abusive demand letters and the ending of fee diversions from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s budget.

Strict venue provisions for patent litigation added to Innovation Act

Issa’s amendment changes the language so that a party bringing a patent infringement suit where the defendant has its principle place of business, where the defendant has a physical presence, or where the patent owner has a meaningful physical presence due to research and development or manufacturing. At first glance these venue provisions seem reasonable because they would curtail the extreme forum shopping that does go on in patent cases, as witnessed in the Eastern District of Texas. On closer consideration, however, this provision could create problems for those patent owners who are not bad actors that seek to abuse the system or take advantage by only filing in favorable, remote forums.

Amendment to extend CBM defeated in House Judiciary Committee

One of the issues that took up a significant amount of time during the first half of the hearing was the proposed extension of the transitional program covered business method review. The amendment submitted by Congressman Issa (R-CA) sought to extend CBM by pushing back the sunset period until December 31, 2026. The Issa amendment to extend CBM was defeated by a vote of 18-13.

Patent Reform 101 – A Primer on Pending Patent Legislation

Patent reform is the new normal and we can expect that it will continually be raised in every new Congress for the foreseeable future. Currently there are four serious proposals for patent reform in various stages of consideration in Congress. They are: (1) The Innovation Act; (2) The TROL Act; (3) the STRONG Patents Act; and (4) the PATENT Act. There is also another bill – the Innovation Protection Act – that likely has no chance of passing but which is eminently reasonable. A summary of each of these five bills follows, along with one thing to watch for which could completely upset all predictions.

Patent Reform Advances on Capitol Hill

Yesterday the House Committee on Energy and Commerce voted to approve the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters (TROL) Act by a vote of 30-22. Meanwhile, the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act (the PATENT Act) was introduced into the Senate. It is now also believed that Congressman Goodlatte may have a hearing or markup with respect to the Innovation Act at some point during the week of May 11th. However, there whispers that the Innovation Act may not be able to make it out of the House Judiciary Committee.

Patent Reform 2.0 – The Next Round of Patent Reform

On Monday, May 11, 2015, IPWatchdog will a co-sponsor a roundtable discussion on patent reform. This event will take place at the law offices of McDermott Will & Emery, which is located directly across the street from the U.S. Capitol. Bernie Knight, a partner with McDermott and a former General Counsel to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will co-moderate the event along with me. We hope you can join us for this discussion.

House Judiciary Committee Questions PTO Director Lee on Innovation Act

There were statements recognizing the need to keep open legitimate avenues to for innovators to protect themselves against infringement, and a strong desire to make sure that legislation focus on bad actions and actors. Not surprisingly, the Committee seems to largely think that the Innovation Act does strike the proper balance, although there was also recognition that changes could be made to make the bill better. USPTO Director Michelle Lee was wholeheartedly in support of fee shifting, justifying the position by saying that fault based fee-shifting will raise the costs for those who engage in abusive actions.

Courts Award Attorneys’ Fees on 50% of Motions Post Octane

The data establishes that motions for attorney’s fees under section 285 after Octane were granted at a rate almost three times as high as in the year preceding Octane. In addition, the data establishes — contrary to the witness’s testimony — that 50% of motions for fees under section 285 filed by accused infringers were granted between January 1, 2015, and March 31, 2015. In contrast, in the 12 months preceding Octane, only 13% of such motions were granted.

Meet the Democrats of the House IP Subcommittee

Congressman Jerrold Nadler has been selected by Democrats to be the Ranking Member of the House IP Subcommittee. It appears that Issa may be getting squeezed out, which could mean that the House IP Subcommittee will have a lot less work to do than one might expect in a Congress that will be seeking to push major reforms to both the Copyright Act, the Patent Act and to implement federal trade secret legislation. Nevertheless, it is still worth knowing who the key players could be. With that in mind, and without further ado, here are the Democrats on the House IP Subcommittee.