Patent law requires a robust and balanced approach, combining strong protection for patentees with a high-quality examination system designed to produce clear and unambiguous patents.  The patent system must continue to promote innovation by existing companies, while also allowing the next generation of inventors to build new products and services. Low-quality patents, coupled with the high cost of defending against frivolous lawsuits, allow patent assertion entities (PAEs) to drain productive businesses of $29 billion a year in legal costs, according to a  Bessen and Meurer study.

Recent years have seen a proliferation of PAEs, who acquire vague, low-quality patents and target startups and small businesses with frivolous lawsuits.  These suits pressure job-creating enterprises into choosing between settling unmeritorious claims out of court, or facing bankruptcy. PAEs have expanded their range of targets across sectors to include restaurants, retailers, and even end users who purchase consumer electronics products like a scanner.

CCIA supports real patent reforms that include an end to venue abuse and measures to promote high-quality patents.  Specific solutions include:

  • Patent reform legislation, including venue reform and measures to limit abusive litigation by PAEs and protect end users. In particular, venue reform will help mitigate the phenomenon of PAEs bringing lawsuits to the Eastern District of Texas where procedures front load defendants with high court costs, pressuring them to settle lawsuits that the plaintiffs could not ultimately win.
  • Patent quality improvements in the USPTO examination process to encourage more high-quality, clear patents, and reduce ambiguous patents with overly broad claims.

CCIA writes about current patent issues at its blog Patent Progress.

Most Recent Statements&Findings:

CCIA Files Joint Amicus Brief Asking Court To Re-Hear Standard Essential Patents Case

Washington – The Computer and Communications Industry Association was joined by The App Association, High Tech Alliance, and the Public Interest Patent Law Institute in filing a joint amici brief Wednesday evening with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit requesting that the Panel re-hear a case involving standard essential patents (SEPs) en…

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CCIA Welcomes Nominees To Fill Out FCC, NTIA and PTO

Washington — President Biden has nominated people to key positions to oversee the U.S. tech industry today including at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC).   The White House has nominated Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel as the Commission’s permanent Chair, and Gigi Sohn, a…

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CCIA Applauds Introduction of Bi-Partisan Bills To Increase Diversity And Transparency In The Patent System

Washington – U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Ranking Member and Chair of the Senate Intellectual Property Subcommittee, and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have introduced two bipartisan bills that promote transparency and diversity in the U.S. patent system.  One bill would require recording at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office who owns a patent within 90…

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

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…

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