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 Praises Introduction Of Patent Reform Legislation

The Computer & Communications Industry Association is applauding the reintroduction of the Patent Reform Act today by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., former Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., and ranking member Lamar Smith, R-Texas. The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black: “With members…

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CCIA Reaction To Supreme Court Order In Rambus Case

While the Supreme Court passing over the appeal in the Federal Trade Commission’s case against Rambus is disappointing, the Computer & Communications Industry Association is expressing optimism about future antitrust enforcement in the standards setting process. The FTC had alleged that Rambus illegally attempted to monopolize memory markets by urging a standards setting body to…

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CCIA’s NIST and PTO Recommendations

CCIA released more detailed separate recommendations for the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In both reports CCIA points out that the America COMPETES Act remain unfunded and the trade association asks for funding for those measures. NIST and USPTO are the two agencies most responsible for operationalizing…

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CCIA's NIST and PTO Recommendations

CCIA released more detailed separate recommendations for the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In both reports CCIA points out that the America COMPETES Act remain unfunded and the trade association asks for funding for those measures. NIST and USPTO are the two agencies most responsible for operationalizing…

Read more