SIIA supports the action in both the House and Senate to advance patent reform. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee marked-up and approved legislation by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), while Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced patent reform legislation in the Senate.
The overwhelming vote in the House Judiciary Committee to approve patent legislation demonstrates that there is significant bi-partisan momentum for reform. With American jobs, innovation and economic growth on the line, members of Congress clearly recognize that action is needed. It’s now critical that we build on this progress, continue to improve the legislation and move swiftly to enact into law patent reforms that support innovators and job creators.
This week, the effort to stop the damaging impact of patent trolls got another boost with the introduction of [Chairman] Leahy’s Patent Transparency and Improvement Act (PTIA) of 2013. The legislation takes a number of important steps to address the problem of patent litigation abuse, such as requiring more specificity in demand letters, disclosure of the actual financial backers involved in patent litigation, and helping manufacturers obtain stays on behalf of their customers. Coupled with other measures, this bill will help restore accountability and balance to the patent litigation system.
To address the patent troll problem effectively, SIIA believes that two-way fee shifting, with bonding, is necessary to change the economic incentives that currently fuel abusive patent litigation. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have introduced fee-shifting legislation that complements Chairman Leahy’s bill, and we hope all three bills can move forward in a coordinated fashion. SIIA commends Chairman Leahy for his leadership and we look forward to working with him toward a pre-markup amendment that brings fee-shifting legislation to his bill.
Ken Wasch is President of SIIA. Follow the SIIA Software team on twitter at @SIIASoftware.