IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "STRONG Patents Act"

Coons and Stivers Reintroduce Measure to Make the U.S. Patent System STRONGER

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) reintroduced the STRONGER Patents Act of 2019 today in an event on Capitol Hill. Coons first introduced the STRONG Patents Act in 2015, which then became the STRONGER Patents Act in 2017. This latest iteration, like the iterations before, seeks to take a number of steps to strengthen patent protections and…

The Patent System: It is important for America that we get it right

Small businesses and independent inventors are critical to revolutionary advancement of American technology. They file over 20% of the applications at the USPTO, and their patents are more likely to encompass breakthrough inventions, rather than incremental change. While Congress has considered a range of legislative reforms, the other branches of government have also been moving forward with challenges confronting the patent system. It is important for America that we get this right. Thoughtful legislation can further improve the patent system and lead to more job creation and economic growth as long as we remember that it is the patent system fuels America’s innovative spirit.

A patent reform conversation with Senator Coons and Congressman Massie

Yesterday I moderated a Google Hangout on the topic of patent reform, which was sponsored by the Innovation Alliance’s save the inventor campaign. Joining me for the conversation was United States Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the driving force behind the STRONG Patents Act, and Congressman Thomas Massie, an inventor and patent owner who is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Our wide ranging conversation addressed whether patents promote or inhibit innovation, the most problematic provisions in the pending patent reform bills, whether patent reform is even necessary, and the inevitable reality that a push for patent reform will remain on the agenda for the foreseeable future.

The path to prosperity requires sound patent policy, not more patent reform

Innovation is the lifeblood of a prosperous economy. Sound patent policy, which encourages the nexus between risk and ideas (especially for small entrepreneurs), makes invention profitable. The U.S. patent system enables that dream by protecting the market an invention creates long enough for the inventor to gain a toehold against competition, and by creating a property right capable of attracting critical investment to bring the invention to market and grow the business. Don’t let H.R. 9 or S.1137 kill this can do American spirit of innovation.

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.

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.

John Oliver says American small businesses want the Innovation Act, but he’s wrong

It’s great that John Oliver brought the subject of patent trolls, about which IPWatchdog has already produced some considerable coverage, to an audience that topped 1.4 million viewers. But there are a significant number of stakeholders in the ongoing patent debate who are not in favor of the Innovation Act and they’re not, as John Oliver would have you believe, simply lobbyists for trial lawyers. For example, the Innovation Alliance, which is made up of innovator companies, does not support the Innovation Act. Neither do independent inventor groups, independent inventors, innovative startup companies, biotechnology companies or universities. If John Oliver is for helping small business victims of patent trolls while preserving patent rights he should actually be promoting the STRONG Patents Act and not the Innovation Act.

House Bill Seeks to End Diversion of Fees from the USPTO

The Innovation Protection Act, one of the lesser known patent bills percolating in Congress over the past few years, would provide a source of permanent funding for the USPTO. The fees the USPTO collects would remain available to the USPTO until expended. This common sense idea has been floated for years, but it never seems to go anywhere. Appropriators have been unwilling to commit to allowing the USPTO to keep user fees, diverting $1 billion worth of collected fees from the USPTO according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association. This may not seem like much but is a lot of money, but for an agency the size of the USPTO it is a lot of money.

Patent Reform: The Pending Bills and What They Mean

This year the Innovation Act has been reintroduced, and after some thought that the bill would sail through the House of Representatives without even an additional hearing. The Senate has also held several hearings on patent reform, with a competing view of what patent reform should look like being submitted by Senator Chris Coons in the form of the STRONG Patents Act. The House is also considering more tailored legislation narrowly focusing on demand letters (i.e., the TROL Act), and just recently Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and David Vitter (R-LA), along with United States Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) submitted the Grace Period Restoration Act, which would reinstated the full 12 month grace period that was taken away from inventors as part of the America Invents Act (AIA).

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.

Senator Coons – Patents are about the American Dream

Senator Coons: ”[P]atents are not just foundational. Patents are really about the American Dream. They are about what it means to come to this country or be from this country and believe in the possibility that you and a team of folks that you work with can invent and develop and then protect a groundbreaking innovation. Patents are about constantly laying a stronger foundation upon which future generations can continue to innovate and about insuring we will find solutions to the challenges that face us, not just here but around the world… So here is the truth. We need to both strengthen patents and target real abuse. They are not mutually exclusive…”

Demand Letter Legislation Must be Narrowly Tailored

An effort to address bad actors may unnecessarily create significant hurdles for innovators seeking to enforce or license the rights to their own innovations. The fear of unintended consequences requires targeted reform that will specifically address only the abusive behaviors relied upon by the bad actors, namely misleading and fraudulent demand letters. The trick will be to tackle these abusive behaviors that serve no legitimate purpose while not making legitimate business communications impossible. Luckily, it is not difficult to spot fraudulent demand letters and distinguish them from legitimate business inquiries. But will Congress be able to strike the appropriate legislative solution?