Cornyn/Schumer "PATENT ACT" does not have presumption of "loser pays"
The bill requires plaintiffs bringing patent suits to make their initial allegations with more clarity and specificity. It also places limits on the amount of discovery a patent-holder can extract from companies during early stages of a case, in order to shield defendants from fishing expeditions. It allows courts greater leeway to award attorneys’ fees to the losing side of the lawsuit, including plaintiffs perceived by a judge to have brought a lawsuit with little basis in fact.
The bill also aims to curb the practice of some patent holders who embark on letter-writing campaigns against companies to scare them into settling.
The introduction of the Cornyn/Schumer bill — known as the PATENT Act — has garnered some early applause from the tech sector.
In a statement, Mark MacCarthy, the vice president of public policy for the Software & Information Industry Association, called the bill “an important step” that “we believe will be effective in curtailing abusive litigation.”
The bill isn’t identical to the House’s Innovation Act, which passed the House by a 325-91 vote during the last Congress. But that bill’s chief sponsor, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) said he largely supported the Senate’s effort.
Of the text It allows courts greater leeway to award attorneys’ fees to the losing side of the lawsuit,, one presumes the WSJ meant to say "winning" side, not "losing" side.