Chris Mohr, Senior Vice President for Intellectual Property and General Counsel for the Software and Information Industry Association released the following statement:
We thank Senators Cornyn, Tillis and Leahy for their bipartisan work in drafting the Patent Trial and Appeal Board Reform Act of 2022. The America Invents Act became law because of the cost of poor-quality patents imposed on the public, as non-practicing entities and patent trolls targeted small and large businesses in retail, restaurants, and technology with baseless claims that were far cheaper to settle than defend. Congress enacted the AIA because too many patents did not meet the statute’s requirement, and that problem was particularly acute with respect to software. The AIA, which was supported by a broad coalition of main street businesses, created a system in which the Patent and Trademark Office can take a second look at these patents if they think it is reasonably likely that the patent is invalid for specified reasons, the most important being that it was obvious. Each time one of these patents is invalidated, the public wins because it prevents the patentee from exercising a public franchise that it did not earn, helping control costs and enabling future innovation.
The PTAB Reform Act enhances the effectiveness of the AIA in at least two key ways. First, it provides increased transparency into the PTO Director’s decision to review particular decisions of the PTAB. Second, it prevents the PTAB from relying on the existence of co-pending litigation and inaccurate trial dates as a basis for denying a petition. Both of these changes will improve the operation of the PTAB system. They also represent an important bipartisan commitment to bringing about predictability, certainty and fairness envisioned by the AIA. SIIA supports this important work and looks forward to working with Congress to improve it further.