GOODLATTE INTRODUCES PATENT LITIGATION REFORM BILL
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte introduced a bill today to address the ever increasing problem of abusive patent litigation. The bipartisan Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) builds on the reforms that were made last Congress in the America Invents Act and addresses certain abusive practices taking place in our Courts.
“Abusive patent litigation is a drag on our economy. Everyone from independent inventors, to start-ups, to mid and large sized businesses face this constant threat. The tens of billions of dollars spent on settlements and litigation expenses associated with abusive patent suits represent truly wasted capital – wasted capital that could have been used to create new jobs, fund R&D, and create new innovations and technologies.
“The bipartisan Innovation Act is designed to eliminate the abuses of our patent system, discourage frivolous patent litigation and keep U.S. patent laws up to date. These important actions will help fuel the engine of American innovation and creativity, creating new jobs and growing our economy.”
Original cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Anna Eshoo (D- Calif.), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), and George Holding (R-N.C.).
Key Components of the Innovation Act:
- Target Abusive Patent Litigation: The bill targets abusive patent litigation behavior and not specific entities with the goal of preventing individuals from taking advantage of gaps in the system to engage in litigation extortion. It does not attempt to eliminate valid patent litigation.
- Protects the Patent System: The patent system is integral to U.S. competitiveness. This legislation does not diminish or devalue patent rights in any way.
- Increases Transparency: This legislation includes heightened pleading standards and transparency provisions. Requiring parties to do a bit of due diligence up front before filing an infringement suit is just plain common sense. It not only reduces litigation expenses, but saves the court’s time and resources. Greater transparency and information is a good thing and it makes our patent system stronger.
- Modernizes Fee Shifting: The legislation includes a modernized version of Section 285 fee shifting that is fair, clear and will ensure consistent judicial determinations.
- Provides Greater Clarity: The legislation provides for more clarity surrounding initial discovery, case management, joinder and the common law doctrine of customer stays. The bill works hand-in-hand with the procedures and practices of the Judicial Conference and the courts.
- Small Business Education: The bill provides for small business education and outreach by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.