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 Offers PTO Comments On Improving Patent Quality, Discouraging Legal Antics With Invalid Patents

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should not leave an invalid patent in force, even if the challenger is to be sanctioned, and recommended that any sanctions should focus on the party, not on the proceeding. Today’s filing comes in response to a request by the…

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CCIA Files ITC Comments In Request To Block Some Apple Products

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry filed comments in response to an International Trade Commission request, saying it should not exclude Apple products that contribute to health and fitness. The filing by CCIA and NetChoice notes the devices the ITC is considering blocking contribute to identifying health issues like early detection of atrial fibrillation. …

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CCIA Welcomes Bipartisan Patent Bill That Would Update PTO Procedures, Promote Fairness In Patent Appeals Process

Washington – Senators Cornyn, Leahy, and Tillis have introduced the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Reform Act of 2022 today.  Current USPTO guidance allows the PTAB to refuse to examine the validity of challenged patents, even if the patent is clearly invalid. This bi-partisan legislation would ensure that meritorious challenges to the validity of…

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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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