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:

Patent Round Up

It is unclear how the release of a Senate draft proposing to remove or change some key reforms from the patent reform bill previously reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee will be received in Congress. So far House Judiciary leaders have alerted their Senate colleagues publicly that they want to see changes. In the…

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Intellectual Ventures Quick Hits

Since Steve Lohr’s New York Times critique on Intellectual Ventures, last month the blogosphere has lit up with discussion about back door schemes to file or threaten to file patent lawsuits. Revelations of IV’s skyrocketing lobbying expenses and political contributions as well as new strategy of licensing patents to lawsuit-happy NPEs have prompted a flurry of anti-IV sentiment.…

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