On Feb. 5, 2015, U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), re-introduced the Innovation Act — the same patent reform legislation that passed in 2013. H.R. 9, like the one introduced in 2013, builds on the reforms that were made in the America Invents Act and addresses certain abusive practices. The bill would require plaintiffs to disclose who the owner of a patent is before a lawsuit is filed and demand that plaintiffs explain why they are suing a particular defendant in their court pleadings. It also requires courts to decide early on whether a patent is invalid. The aim is to discourage plaintiffs from dragging out lawsuits in an attempt to wrangle settlements. The law would also require judges to award attorneys’ fees to parties who bring lawsuits “that have no reasonable basis in law and fact.”
The Innovation Act previously passed the House of Representatives in the 113th Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 325-91. However, it hit a roadblock in the Senate in May and was never debated.
NAR is a member of the United for Patent Reform coalition. A broad coalition of main street businesses and technology companies working to enact comprehensive patent litigation reform.