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 Industry Opposes Senate Patent Reform Bill CCIA President & CEO Ed Black has written to the Senate opposing S.23, the Patent Reform Act of 2011. The bill has been marked up by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is scheduled for a floor vote this afternoon. The bill raises a number of concerns for the tech sector. The proposed move to a first-to-file offers…
  • News & EventsCCIA Letter Opposing Senate's Latest Patent Reform Bill The Computer & Communications Industry Association sent a letter to senators Monday morning explaining its opposition to S. 23, the senate’s latest patent reform legislation. While CCIA was an original advoate for patent reform and supports the House verison of the bill, S. 23 would be even worse for the tech industry and the real innovative sector…
  • News & EventsCCIA Letter Opposing Senate’s Latest Patent Reform Bill The Computer & Communications Industry Association sent a letter to senators Monday morning explaining its opposition to S. 23, the senate’s latest patent reform legislation. While CCIA was an original advoate for patent reform and supports the House verison of the bill, S. 23 would be even worse for the tech industry and the real innovative sector…