Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Predictions on Congressional action on patent reform

In the post --The PATENT Act: Be Careful What You Wish For --, one has the following "prediction"

Most Congressional observers believe that the change in control of the United States Senate presages approval of the PATENT Act, the Innovation Act or some form of those bills in the 114th Congress. To that end, the House continues to amend the Innovation Act, recently adding new venue provisions that would make it more difficult for non-practicing entities to bring their suits in the Eastern District of Texas. Moreover, the White House previously has signaled its intention to support and sign patent reform legislation. On the other hand, opposition to these bills is mounting from small businesses and individual inventors who sincerely believe that these changes will make it harder for them to protect their patent rights, thereby enabling larger companies to infringe their patents with impunity, as well as from those who benefit from the current system. In the end, it appears likely that Congress will amend the Patent Act during this session.


One notes that pharma and university interests have strongly opposed the Innovation Act. Among other things, "loser pays" is opposed by many.

See also the post The anti –innovation Patent Act of 2015 which includes

Now, Congress is on the verge of passing major revisions to the Patent Act, which, if enacted, would be a blunder of historical proportions and would pose a threat to American innovation. Large corporations have been able to convince Congress and the public, through a well-funded, organized and misleading PR campaign, that innovation is being threatened by patent trolls, entities that abuse the system by extorting settlements and by bringing frivolous lawsuits.


Both of the bills also would alter the “American rule” that attorney’s fees should be borne by the respective parties absent exceptional circumstances and ignore the recent Supreme Court decisions giving district courts greater discretion to award attorney’s fees. Indeed, courts have recently begun to grant more motions seeking attorney’s fees. Fee shifting will likely deter legitimate owners of enforcing their patent rights by making the risk of enforcement prohibitively high.

Smaller companies also will be less able to enforce their patent rights by making it harder to obtain litigation funding.


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