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:

CCIA Applauds Schumer’s Patent Troll Proposal

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, has announced a proposal that would require the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to review lawsuits brought by patent trolls before they head to court. Schumer said today that he would formally introduce legislation aimed at patent trolls next week. The Computer & Communications Industry Association welcomes Schumer’s proposal to expand…

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Government Support for Fighting Patent Trolls Grows

Lawmakers have been speaking out about the patent troll epidemic in recent weeks and now it looks like they’re ready to do something about it. Yesterday Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he is introducing a bill to expand the covered business methods program established by the 2011 America Invents Act, so that broad, abstract patents can…

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