DOC Calls on Congress to Pass Patent Reform, ICANN

Today, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Leaders urging quick enactment of patent reform legislation (H.R. 1249). In the letter, Secretary Locke reiterated his support for the Senate passed legislation (S. 23) and outlining the administrations views on certain key provisions of H.R. 1249 that are “important to our goals of an appropriately funded and well-functioning USPTO and successful passage of a balanced bill.” Key areas of the bill addressed by the Secretary include First Inventor to File, USPTO Fee Setting and Funding, Post-Grant Review Proceedings, Pre-issuance Submissions and Prior User Defense.

Also today, in Global-Tech v. SEB, the Supreme Court appeared to raise the bar for proving claims of induced patent infringement. The Court held (8-1) that inducement requires knowledge that the induced conduct itself infringes, and that “deliberate indifference” is not enough to satisfy that standard. Rather, the knowledge element can be met by a showing of “willful blindness.”

In other IP news, the PROTECT IP Act was passed unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee last week, making this the second piece of major IP legislation ripe for full House consideration. SIIA submitted a statement congratulating the committee and urging quick enactment of the legislation.

And on the ICANN front, following further consultation with its Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and written comments by stakeholders including SIIA, ICANN published a revised Applicant Guidebook on May 30. While the ICANN Board and GAC have one more meeting scheduled prior to the June 20 vote on the gTLD roll-out, it is believed that the May 30 version is unlikely to change materially prior to that scheduled vote. SIIA is reviewing the May 30 draft, and next week SIIA and other content organizations are tentatively scheduled to meet with U.S. government representatives to the GAC to discuss concerns. In light of the recent Congressional hearing, other avenues also are being considered.

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