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 Files Amicus Brief In Samsung Patent Case Asking The U.S. Supreme Court To Review A Problematic Ruling

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed an amicus brief Friday in support of Samsung’s recent petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. Samsung is asking the Supreme Court to reverse a controversial decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; that decision ordered Samsung to pay its total profits for…

Read more

House Judiciary Passes Patent Reform Language

Washington — The House Judiciary Committee approved language for its patent reform bill Thursday that would go a long way towards reining in the still-growing patent troll industry. It would require clarity in court filings and reduce the costs of patent litigation. One debated language change involved whether patent trolls can request venue changes to…

Read more

Senate Judiciary Leaders Introduce Patent Reform Bill

Washington — Senate Judiciary Committee leaders have introduced bipartisan legislation today intended to rein in patent trolls who threaten businesses and consumers with legally questionable infringement claims. One reform could allow prevailing defendants to recover legal fees — if they can prove the plaintiff’s claim was not reasonable. Another would require attorneys sending vague letters…

Read more