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:

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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CCIA Asks Supreme Court To Review Constitutionality of ITC’s Actions In Patent Case Illustrating Expanded Use Of ITC Against US Companies

Washington — As the International Trade Commission has increasingly expanded its jurisdiction to include ruling on domestic patent issues, the Computer & Communications Industry Association filed an amicus brief Monday afternoon asking the Supreme Court to grant cert and review the misuse of the ITC by foreign entities against US companies. The Federal District court…

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CCIA Patent Counsel Josh Landau Testifies Before Senate Subcommittee

Washington — CCIA Patent Counsel Josh Landau will testify  before the Senate Judiciary’s IP subcommittee today on pending patent legislation. Landau will caution senators that provisions in the STRONGER Patents Act weaken the inter partes review procedure used to invalidate patents that never should have been issued. In his written testimony, Landau said, “The STRONGER…

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CCIA Asks PTO To Preserve Ability To Challenge Weak, Overly Broad Patents

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association has sent a letter to Patent and Trademark Office Director Iancu asking him not to implement new rules that would prevent challenges to weak or overly broad patents. Senators Coons and Tillis sent a letter to PTO Director Iancu expressing concern over so-called “serial” IPR petitions.  The…

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