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:

House Bill Would Halt Some Common Patent Troll Attacks

Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Judy Chu, D-Calif., introduced the Stopping the Offensive Use of Patents Act (STOP Act) H.R. 2766 Monday. The bipartisan bill is similar to the Patent Quality Improvement Act that Senator Schumer introduced in the Senate, and would expand the Covered Business Method review program at the Patent and Trademark Office. The Computer &…

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CCIA, Trade Associations Ask Congress For Patent Reform

CCIA joined dozens of trade associations from the American Bankers Association to the National Retail Federation to NCTA asking House and Senate leaders to pass comprehensive legislation aimed at patent trolls. In the letter Wednesday morning, those harmed by patent trolls told lawmakers that since 2005, the number of defendants targeted by patent trolls has…

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