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 Hires Joshua Landau As Patent Counsel

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association is pleased to announce it has hired Joshua Landau as patent counsel. Landau will be the lead blogger for CCIA’s Patent Progress, advocate for patent reform and handle CCIA’s regulatory and legal work on patents. Landau joined CCIA from WilmerHale, where he represented clients in patent litigation,…

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Embassy of Canada To Host Tech, IP Policy Discussion Wednesday

Washington –Canada’s Ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton will offer opening remarks at a panel discussion on the future of North American trade and intellectual property hosted by the Embassy of Canada Wednesday April 5th at 12pm. Computer & Communications Industry Association Vice President Matt Schruers will moderate the panel of technology company experts. To…

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CCIA Says Decision To Keep Michelle Lee Leading PTO Is Welcome News

Washington — US Patent and Trademark Office Director Michelle Lee will stay on during the next administration, according to news reports. The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated for patent reform for more than two decades. CCIA represents companies that hold patents and require licenses from patent holders to ensure complex technology products and…

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