Senate Offers Patent Reform Bill; CCIA Optimistic About Reform Proposals

BY Heather Greenfield
November 19, 2013

Washington –Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy has introduced the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013. The bill offers key reforms that would improve transparency of patent ownership, offer protections for end users sued for patent infringement, as well as for those targeted by fraudulent demand letters. The bill is co-sponsored by Judiciary Committee Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been advocating for more than a decade for comprehensive patent reforms. This bill offers real relief to the exponentially growing numbers of consumers and businesses targeted by patent trolls who are abusing our patent system.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Senator Leahy’s bill provides key reforms that will curb some of the worst abuses of the patent system. The abusive conduct in this area requires legislation sufficient to address the broad scope and dimensions of the problems that exist.  This bill complements excellent legislation already introduced earlier this year by other prominent members of the Judiciary Committee on both sides of the aisle.  The outlook is now very good for comprehensive and effective new laws that will curtail patent litigation abuses.”

“The growing abuse of the patent system is shameful, and we are glad to see bipartisan consensus has grown for comprehensive patent reforms that we believe can pass this year.

The following can be attributed to CCIA patent counsel Matt Levy:

“This bill would shine a light on the shadowy business of patent assertion entities filing lawsuits that financially benefit other, unnamed companies. The new transparency requirements would force patent owners to reveal the when they are transferring patents. While it doesn’t block them from transferring patents to patent trolls to use against competitors, it will help expose this growing trend.

“We are pleased to see Chairman Leahy’s bill would offer protection to customers getting sued over products they buy. Manufacturers would be able to step in to protect their customers from patent trolls trying to victimize innocent businesses. This targeting of end users has grown increasingly abusive in recent years and Leahy’s bill would help curb this practice.

“When combined with the other bills introduced in the Senate to address bad patents that should never have issued as well as abusive litigation tactics, Chairman Leahy’s bill is a critical centerpiece of the solution to the patent troll problem.”

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