Posts Tagged: "Representative Steve Stivers"

This Week on Capitol Hill: DHS Facial Recognition Tech, Coons and Stivers to Reintroduce STRONGER Patents Act, and Think Tanks Explore Tech Issues in U.S.-China Trade War

The U.S. Senate gets busy today with hearings on the tech world’s impacts on America’s youth as well as NASA’s plans for manned missions on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. On Wednesday, Senator Coons and Representative Stivers will reintroduce the STRONGER Patents Act, which is aimed at strengthening the patent system and promoting innovation. NASA’s plans to commercialize low Earth orbit will also be discussed in the House of Representatives, along with biometric technologies employed by the Department for Homeland Security and cybersecurity threats to the U.S. energy grid. Around the U.S. capital, both the Brookings Institution and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will look at tech issues involved in the current trade war between the U.S. and China. ITIF will also explore the potential use of antitrust law to break up American tech giants on Thursday.

Patent Masters™ Symposium Delivers Three Recommendations to Congress on Patent Reform

IPWatchdog’s third Patent Masters Symposium was held this past week in Arlington, Virginia, and included some of the best and brightest in the patent world. The event focused on the effects of Alice five years on, but more importantly, identified practical approaches for navigating Section 101 law now and in the future. Throughout the event, I also asked attendees to vote on several statements in an effort to come to consensus on certain points relating to the pending patent reform legislation. Those statements that received at least 80% of the vote are included in the letter below, which will be sent to the Senators and Representatives working on the next draft of the new Section 101.

U.S. Companies and Groups to Congress: the Section 101 Reform Draft is Good and Genes are Safe

Seventy-two companies and organizations, ranging from Tivo to Bristol-Myers Squibb and from the American Conservative Union to the Alliance of U.S. Startups & Inventors for Jobs (USIJ)— as well as retired Federal Circuit Chief Judge Paul Michel—have sent a letter to Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons and Representatives Hank Johnson, Doug Collins, and Steve Stivers in support of the current draft language to reform Section 101 of the U.S. Patent Act. The letter comes as the patent community eagerly awaits a new version of the bill, following three hearings and 45 witnesses in which most voiced their general support for the approach taken in the draft, but several sticking points were identified. The next iteration is expected soon after Congress’ July 4 recess.

Draft Text of Proposed New Section 101 Reflects Patent Owner Input

A group of Senators and Representatives has just released the draft text of a bipartisan, bicameral proposal to reform Section 101 of the Patent Act. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property; Representative Doug Collins (R-GA-9), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee; Hank Johnson (D-GA-4), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and the Courts; and Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) sent the draft text via press release today. The stated goal of releasing the draft is to solicit feedback—there will be additional stakeholder feedback and Senate hearings, according to the press release.Senate hearings on the topic will be held on June 4, 5 and 11 featuring three panels of five witnesses each, for a total of 45 witnesses over three days. The draft text explicitly states that “the provisions of section 101 shall be construed in favor of eligibility.”

Urge the Drafters of the New Section 101 to Support Inventor-Friendly Reform

Senators and Representatives Coons, Tillis, Collins, Johnson, and Stivers recently announced in a press release a proposed framework to fix patent eligibility law in the United States. If written as proposed in the draft framework, section 101 may do harm to the patent system. The senators and representatives are now soliciting feedback on the draft framework. They are likely to take additional action on the framework as soon as early this week. Please send the following text with any of your edits to IntellectualProperty@tillis.senate.gov.

Change May Be Coming: Members of Congress Release Framework to Fix Patent Eligibility Law

In a promising indication that there is real momentum on The Hill to fix Section 101 law, several Senators and Representatives today proposed a framework for addressing 101-related patent reform.Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE)—respectively, Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property—and Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA-9), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee; Hank Johnson (D-GA-4), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet; and Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) announced earlier today indicating that “months of hard work by the Senators and Representatives has led to this bipartisan, bicameral framework.” IPWatchdog has been reporting for some time that closed-door meetings have been held with stakeholders and members of congress to gather information on the problems with patent eligibility law. IPWatchdog also has been told that the relevant members of congress intend to hold regular public hearings on the topic beginning soon. “I think it’s wise for congress to hit the reset button and reassert its authority with respect to the statutory requirements, and getting rid of the non-statutory judicial exceptions is an absolute must,” said Gene Quinn, patent attorney and President and CEO of IPWatchdog, Inc. “I just hope that whatever the ultimate statutory language is, it is very carefully limited and narrowly tailored; and I must confess that it worries me a little that the framework says that reciting generic language won’t be enough to save an otherwise ineligible claim.”

The Federal Circuit is Shirking Its Constitutional Duty to Provide Certainty for Critical Innovation

Here we go again! Another patent whose claims have been invalidated at the Federal Circuit—predictably, another medical diagnostic patent. Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative (Fed. Cir. Feb. 6, 2019). This is getting old, tired and fundamentally ridiculous. The statute, which is all of one-sentence long, specifically lists discoveries as patent eligible. So why are discoveries being declared patent ineligible? To the extent these decisions are mandated by the Supreme Court, they directly contradict the easy to understand and very direct language of the statute. The Federal Circuit is wrong, period. Perhaps they are so close to these cases and trying so hard to do what they think is right that they have lost perspective, but these rulings are fundamentally saying that discoveries are not patent eligible. We are told repeatedly that they are mandated by Supreme Court precedent. Obviously, that cannot be correct. The statute says: “Whoever invents or discovers… may obtain a patent…” Clearly, Congress wants discoveries to be patented, and in our system of governance, Congress has supremacy over the Supreme Court with respect to setting the law unless the law is unconstitutional. 35 U.S.C. 101 has never been declared unconstitutional, so discoveries must be patent eligible, period. It is time to face the facts—the Supreme Court has considered only bad cases, with bad facts, where there was really no innovation presented in the claims, or even in the patent application as a whole. These decisions have absolutely no meaning or proper application with respect to any inventions, let alone inventions of monumental complexity such as true artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, or new medical diagnostics that allow risk-free testing of common ailments, where previously existing tests required potentially catastrophic risk.