The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) opposes the recently introduced Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2023 (PERA) and the Promoting and Respecting Economically Vital American Innovation Leadership (PREVAIL) Act. Chris Mohr, SIIA President, issued the following statement on these new bills:

“PERA is a bill that would allow patents on vague ideas that stifle innovation, create confusion about patent eligibility, and increase the amount and cost of patent lawsuits.

“We’re very concerned about the introduction of this legislation.  As an organization dedicated to the business of information, our members are both massive investors in and users of patented, innovative technology. The current law on subject matter eligibility rests on a simple, easy-to-understand premise: no one owns abstract ideas.. On the other hand, if you have created a technical solution to a technical problem, you can receive a patent on that invention and stop others from using your invention. This premise has guided U.S. patent law and fostered American innovation for two centuries. It has enabled SIIA’s members to innovate in countless ways that have had enormous benefits for society and the economy. PERA would reverse that 200 year-old foundational principle. Allowing patent law to cover abstract ideas will obstruct innovation and deployment of new technologies such as artificial intelligence by ordinary businesses while contributing to the Constitution’s goal of advancing the ‘useful Arts.’

“The PREVAIL Act would turn back the U.S. patent system over a decade. In 2011, a bipartisan Congress passed the America Invents Act (AIA) by an overwhelming majority. Congress recognized that PTO was issuing too many patents that did not meet the law’s requirements, and that resulting litigation abuse was costing the public millions of dollars in bogus claims.

“The AIA has provided a procedure in which those patents could be challenged and reviewed by experts in law and science at a fraction of the cost of federal litigation. The PREVAIL Act would undo the successful steps that the PTO has made to improve  patent quality.  We are deeply concerned by the introduction of this legislation.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Senator Tillis, Senator Coons, and other members of Congress on meaningful improvements to  the patent system that advance innovation.”