SIIA Congratulates PTO for One Year Anniversary of Patent Quality Initiative

For Immediate Release:

SIIA Communications Contact: Diane Pinto, 202.789.4480, dpinto@siia.net

 

SIIA Congratulates PTO for One Year Anniversary of Patent Quality Initiative


The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital information industries. The more than 800 software companies, data and analytics firms, information service companies, and digital publishers that make up our membership serve nearly every segment of society, including business, education, government, healthcare and consumers. As leaders in the global market for software and information products and services, they are drivers of innovation and economic strength – software alone contributes $425 billion to the U.S. economy and directly employs 2.5 million workers and supports millions of other jobs.

At the one year mark of the Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative's (EPQI) launch, we applaud Director Lee, PTO Leadership and its staff for the attention, dialogue and progress made in improving the quality of patents issued by PTO.  SIIA’s members, many of whom are patent holders and applicants, depend on protections afforded by the patent system.  However frivolous patent infringement threats from Patent Assertion Entities continue to plague not only the software/information industries but also legitimate industries/businesses of all sizes throughout the country.  At the root of this threat are low quality patents that are leveraged by PAEs who exploit imbalances in the patent litigation system to launch their resource and innovation draining suits.  Poor quality patents having ambiguous claim scope also harm innovation by creating uncertainty about the rights needed to design and manufacture exciting new products.         

The issuance of high quality patents is critical to a strong and effective patent system, and we believe both applicants and the PTO share a joint responsibility in improving the processes EPQI is tackling.   As we enter the second year of the initiative, we are hopeful to see implementation of many of the worthwhile ideas discussed since the launch.  We reiterate the recommendations we made for last May’s Federal Register Notice, including:

  • Enforcement of Section 112: Enforcement of Section 112 supports the important public notice function of the patent system and promotes certainty in markets driven by innovation - and thus helps mitigate speculative litigation.  SIIA strongly urges that the requirements of Section 112 be applied correctly, vigorously and consistently by the PTO, especially with regard to patents claiming software inventions, for which these requirements have traditionally been under-utilized.
  • Establishing clear boundaries for claims: By enforcing Section 112, the PTO should require applicants to clearly define the scope of their claims by providing definitions of key or unclear claim terms in the record.  
     

Applicants are in the best position to identify and define claim terms, and the increased clarity would benefit the examination process and the public’s understanding.  

SIIA congratulates the PTO for the thoughtful work done in the first year of the EPQI.  We remain committed to working with the PTO and other stakeholders to implement impactful changes that will improve patent quality and the patent system generally.

 

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About SIIA
SIIA is an umbrella association representing 800+ technology, data and media companies globally. Industry leaders work through SIIA’s divisions to address issues and challenges that impact their industry segments with the goal of driving innovation and growth for the industry and each member company. This is accomplished through in-person and online business development opportunities, peer networking, corporate education, intellectual property protection and government relations. For more information, visit siia.net.