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 Applauds Legislation Targeting Patent Abuse

Reps. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, and Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., introduced a bipartisan bill in the House Wednesday afternoon to help mitigate the impact of lawsuits from patent trolls. The bill is H.R. 2639, The Patent Litigation and Innovation Act of 2013. This bill is noteworthy as the first bill introduced in this Congress that specifically helps innocent purchasers who…

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EVENT UPDATE: Competition Law & Patent Assertion Entities: What Antitrust Enforcers Can Do

CCIA and The American Antitrust Institute will be hosting a panel discussion event, “Competition Law & Patent Assertion Entities: What Antitrust Enforcers Can Do” this Thursday at the National Press Club. With a special keynote address by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, our panel of government enforcers, industry veterans, and antitrust experts will be discussing the…

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EVENT UPDATE: Competition Law & Patent Assertion Entities: What Antitrust Enforcers Can Do

CCIA and The American Antitrust Institute will be hosting a panel discussion event, “Competition Law & Patent Assertion Entities: What Antitrust Enforcers Can Do” this Thursday at the National Press Club. With a special keynote address by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, our panel of government enforcers, industry veterans, and antitrust experts will be discussing the…

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CCIA Applauds President’s Proposals To Curb Patent Abuse

The White House is scheduled to announce several executive orders and legislative proposals today aimed at patent trolls, who harm U.S. businesses and the economy. President Obama has recognized that the nation can’t curb abuse of the patent system by so-called trolls without addressing problems with software patents, and this afternoon he’s offering reforms. Congress…

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