PTO Requests Comments On Changes To Make It Difficult To Challenge Weak Patents

BY Heather Greenfield
October 19, 2020

Washington – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has requested comments on making permanent changes to the system currently used to challenge weak or overly broad patents known as inter partes review. 

The Computer & Communications Industry Association sent a letter to Patent and Trademark Office Director Iancu last year warning him that making it more difficult to challenge weak or overly broad patents would encourage patent owners to game the system. CCIA also joined a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that explained that the USPTO’s application of these changes has disproportionately favored non-practicing entities and has resulted in increased litigation and forum-shopping. CCIA plans to file further comments in response to this latest request.

The following can be attributed to CCIA patent counsel Josh Landau:

“Weak and overly broad patents are a tool patent trolls use to attack multiple people and companies. Reining in the ability to challenge this misuse of the patent system would unfortunately encourage patent holders to engage in forum-shopping, delay identifying the claims at issue in litigation, and insulate themselves from challenges to questionable patents by targeting a small company first in order to insulate their patent against other challengers.”

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