United for Patent Reform (UFPR) is a broad coalition of diverse American businesses advocating for a patent system that enhances patent quality, advances meaningful innovation, and protects legitimate American businesses from abusive patent litigation.
UFPR submits feedback to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on proposed changes to post-grant review proceedings under the America Invents Act (AIA).
The UFPR emphasizes the importance of the patent system working to support innovation and deter abusive litigation that drains resources from investment and job creation. It states that while many members of UFPR hold patents, a significant percentage of them have no patents and often face lawsuits or threats of lawsuits from non-practicing entities (NPEs) asserting vague and over-broad patents.
UFPR argues that the proposals in the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) would undermine the purposes of post-grant review procedures, conflict with the America Invents Act (AIA), and limit access to inter partes review (IPR) for challenging the validity of patents. The proposed rules suggest restrictions on who can file an IPR, impose higher standards for petitioners, and limit access based on relationships with prior petitioners or challenges against patents held by small businesses.
UFPR opposes the proposed rules that weaken IPR and restrict access to AIA proceedings. It argues against the “substantial relationship” test, restrictions on challenges by nonmarket competitors, exemption of patents held by small businesses from PTAB review, and the denial of petitions based on district court trial timelines. Instead, UFPR suggests issuing a final written decision for an instituted IPR within six months when one of the parties contests a stay of parallel litigation as an alternative solution to address concerns about duplicative proceedings.
UFPR share the PTO’s goals of improving both patent quality and the efficient administration of the IPR system that Congress designed. Unfortunately, the proposals advanced through the ANPRM accomplish neither of those goals, directly flying in the face of Congress’s express intent.