Posts Tagged: "Senator Dick Durbin"

A fear of trade secret trolls is completely unfounded

Fears about trade secret trolls are based in mythology, not on fact. If those claiming federal trade secret legislation would lead to trade secret trolls actually understand trade secret law they simply couldn’t possibly come to a conclusion that there is any risk there will be a single trade secret troll, let alone some kind of zombie-like rise. Simply stated the fear is pure fiction. In addition to seeing absolutely no evidence of trade secret trolls on the State level, trade secrets require a relationship or some nexus between the parties to the dispute. You simply cannot commoditize trade secret litigation in the same way patent trolls can and do commoditize patent litigation.

Vocal minority cannot keep PATENT Act from passing Senate Judiciary

At the end of a three-hour long hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary this Thursday, June 4th, S.1137, the proposed legislation known as the PATENT Act, was approved to move to the floor of the United States Senate by a 16-4 vote of the Senate committee. Proponents of the bill lauded the bipartisan support which brought the bill committee approval. Interestingly, a small but vocal bipartisan minority has developed, a couple of whom have pledged to continue debate aspects of this legislation which they fear will pose a threat to American innovation.

Senators mistaken, IPRs do not frustrate Hatch-Waxman

Senators repeatedly brought up the Hatch-Waxman legislation. One after another Senators discussed how inter partes review (IPR) of pharmaceutical patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has, in an unanticipated way, upset the delicate balance reached in Hatch-Waxman to ensure that generic drugs would come to market quickly. Those familiar with IPR and Hatch-Waxman will undoubtedly recognize that this concern is entirely misplaced. A successful IPR would result in the immediate death of patent claims, which would inure to the benefit of all generics, which would in fact result in generics entering the market quickly.

PATENT Act Still Ominous For Startups and Small Inventors

Although the latest version of the PATENT Act (S.1137) represents an improvement over previous versions of the legislation, it would still make all U.S. patents less enforceable and cast an ominous cloud over startups and small inventors… The latest version of the PATENT Act notably fails to address the critical overbreadth problems of the customer stay, heightened pleadings, and discovery provisions. Together these provisions place an undue burden on the enforcement rights of legitimate patent owners.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Markup PATENT Act

According to Grassley’s office, the amended PATENT Act will provide important reforms for the way that the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) operates. For instance, the managers amendment would: (1) Require the PTAB to apply the claim construction standard used in federal district court (i.e., the Phillips standard) and further requires the PTAB to consider if claims have previously been construed in district court. (2) Makes explicit that for purposes of PTAB adjudications patents are presumed to be valid, although does so retaining the current law providing that the petitioner has the burden to prove a proposition of unpatentability by a preponderance of the evidence. (3) Makes clear that the Director has discretion not to institute an IPR or PGR if doing so would not serve the interests of justice. (4) Allows patent owners to submit evidence in response to a petition to institute an IPR or PGR, and petitioners to file a reply to respond to new issues. (5) Directs the PTO to modify the institution process so that the same panels do not make institution and merits decisions. (6) Directs the PTO to engage in rulemaking in order to institute a Rule 11-type obligation in IPR and PGR proceedings.

Senate Judiciary divided on PATENT Act even if it is a step in the right direction

Given the collective bias of the witness panel, it is hardly surprising that on the issue of the PATENT Act there was a clear, positive consensus in the witness panel. But there is no such consensus within the industry and those voices were brought to the table by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chris Coons (D-DE), two of the sponsors of the STRONG Patents Act that has been debated in Senate committee as recently as March. Durbin, who pointed out that “this panel is divided between people who love the bill and people who really love the bill,” read part of a strongly worded letter submitted by the National Venture Capital Association who is worried that the PATENT Act, as worded currently, could hurt investment.

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.

Patent reform on the agenda when Congress returns this week

Patent reform is back on the agenda when Congress returns from recess this week. On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at 2:00 pm ET, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on H.R. 9, more commonly referred to as the Innovation Act. Then on Thursday, April 16, 2015, at 11:00 am ET, the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade (CMT) Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee will also hold a patent related hearing. The subject of the CMT hearing will be the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act (TROL Act).

The Future of Patents and the Fork in the Road

On one road, legislation such as The Innovation Act poses threats to our patent system. This type of legislation tries to alleviate concerns about litigation costs and frivolous lawsuits. The problem is that such concerns are based on inaccurate data and flawed economic analysis. On the other road, legislation such as the ‘STRONG Patents Act may help to strengthen our patent system. The road we choose will “make all the difference” to future generations.

Senate Small Business Committee finds consensus on patent reform

Significant consensus was reached between representatives of small business and universities at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on March 19, 2015. The hearing was held to take testimony relating to proposed reforms to the U.S. patent system. The day’s discussion prompted Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) to make the comment that the argument over…

Pro-patentee Patent Reform, the STRONG Patents Act Introduced in Senate

The STRONG Patents Act appears to be overwhelmingly favorable to innovators and patent owners. This legislation stands in stark contrast with the Innovation Act submitted in the House by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (D-Va) and shows a very different, alternative vision for the patent system.

Will Congress be misled on patent reform again?

It is good business for Google to have a weaker patent system, but insulating the natural monopoly that Google has become by destroying the patent system isn’t the answer for a prosperous America. As a result of misguided patent reform and bad judicial decisions a primary foundation of the great American economic engine is unnecessarily crumbling. It doesn’t need to be this way, but if we do not act soon, we will all pay dearly for this historic blunder.

Correction: Michelle Lee on Patent Reform

Thus, Lee did not agree with Senator Durbin’s main point, which seemed unequivocally to be that additional patent reform is not necessary at the moment, but did agree that the landscape has significantly changed. Taken in totality, it is fair to say that Lee was being consistent with her earlier response to Senator Grassley; namely that it is her position that additional reform is necessary, but that it needs to be balanced and pursued with caution.

Is the Patent Market Poised for Rebound in 2015?

While timing a bottom is never a good investment strategy, recognizing a bottom does present real opportunity. As the 18th century British nobleman Baron Rothschild is famously quoted as saying: “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.” This contrarian philosophy is based on the realization that when things hit bottom they can’t get any worse, and can only get better. In the patent/innovation sector there are some recent signs that things may have hit the bottom and be trending up. The Supreme Court did not say software is patent ineligible, and we know from previous decisions that at least some business methods are in fact patent eligible. The Federal Circuit finally found software patent claims patent eligible and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) seems to have no appetite for patent reform.

Lee Confirmation Hearing Dominated by Talk of Patent Reform and Patent Trolls

The issue of patent reform and patent trolls would go on to dominate the confirmation hearing. At one point during his questioning of Lee, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) explained that patent reform has been a real eye opener for him. While working on the America Invents Act (AIA) he explained that he in good faith tried to take the considerations of his constituents into consideration, offering amendments to address their concerns. Then after he voted for the bill he was inundated with calls and e-mails about why he voted for that “bad bill.” Durbin explained that he has since become determined to be far more proactive because this is such an important issue. He has been holding meetings and talking to constituents and everyone is telling him that it is premature to engage in additional patent reform and the Congress should slow down.