Patent law requires a robust and balanced approach, combining 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 without facing an undue risk of frivolous lawsuits. These costly lawsuits, fueled by low-quality patents, allow patent assertion entities (PAEs) to drain productive businesses of $29 billion a year in legal costs according to a Bessen and Meurer study, pressuring job-creating enterprises into choosing between settling unmeritorious claims out of court, or facing bankruptcy.

Reforms in recent years, including legislative reforms like the introduction of AIA post-grant proceedings and judicial decisions such as Alice and TC Heartland, have helped to reduce the proliferation of PAEs and the cost of litigation, while also improving the quality of patents issued by the Patent Office. However, even with these helpful reforms, the cost and frequency of patent litigation remains high, with PAEs using existing low-quality patents targeting companies across all sectors of the economy, ranging from high-tech businesses to restaurants to retailers and coffee shops.

CCIA’s View:

CCIA supports real patent reforms that include an end to abusive patent litigation and measures to promote high-quality patents. Specific solutions include:

  • Patent reform legislation, including measures to limit abusive litigation by PAEs and protect end users;
  • Continued enhancements to the inter partes review process, which provides a mechanism for the Patent Office to review patents that should not have issued;
  • Patent quality improvements in the USPTO examination process to encourage high-quality, clear patents, and reduce ambiguous patents with overly broad claims.

CCIA opposes some proposed reforms which would roll back the reforms that have had a positive impact on the patent system, such as measures to expand patentable subject matter and limit the inter partes review process.

CCIA writes about current patent issues at its blog Patent Progress.

Most Recent Statements & Filings:

  • Blog, Patent Reform & Copyright, USTech Disappointed Patent Reform Bill Didn't Do More The tech industry helped launch the push for patent reform six years ago, but it was not among those cheering the passage of the bill yesterday. Those applauding the loudest were those who originally fought patent reform, and instead managed to get the bill so watered down that it no longer promised real reforms. The…
  • News & EventsSupreme Court Gold Plates Low-Quality Patents Today the Supreme Court upheld the Federal Circuit’s protective view of low-quality patents in Microsoft v. i4i.  Despite the limited review at the Patent and Trademark Office, the Court affirmed that once granted, a patent can only be invalidated by “clear and convincing evidence,” a strong presumption of validity that is especially helpful for marginal…
  • News & EventsCCIA Supports Risch-Udall Amendment To Patent Reform Bill The Computer & Communications Industry Association has sent a letter to Senators Monday morning, asking them to support an amendment to promote real reform in S. 23, which is up for a vote. CCIA is concerned that current provisions in the patent bill make it difficult for the Patent and Trademark Office to reexamine low quality patents,…