House Introduces Patent Litigation Reform Bill
On October 23, four members of the House Judiciary Committee introduced legislation to address the growing problem of patent litigation abuse. HR 3309 "the Innovation Act" aims to target abusive patent litigation behavior by "patent trolls" that take advantage of gaps in the patent system to engage in litigation extortion.
NAR supports the legislation as it proposes reforms needed to restore balance to a patent system that can harm rather than encourage innovation and economic growth.
The Innovation Act:
- Increases Transparency: This legislation includes heightened pleading standards and transparency provisions. Requiring parties to do a bit of due diligence up front before filing an infringement suit is just plain common sense. It not only reduces litigation expenses, but saves the court’s time and resources. Greater transparency and information is a good thing and it makes our patent system stronger.
- Modernizes Fee Shifting: The legislation includes a modernized version of Section 285 fee shifting that is fair, clear and will ensure consistent judicial determinations.
- Provides Greater Clarity: The legislation provides for more clarity surrounding initial discovery, case management, joinder and the common law doctrine of customer stays. The bill works hand-in-hand with the procedures and practices of the Judicial Conference and the courts.
- Small Business Education: The bill provides for small business education and outreach by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.