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.

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Welcome

Welcome to the Innovation Policy Post, CCIA’s forum for news and debate about intellectual property issues. We will use this blog to share our thoughts, and get yours, on patent and copyright law. We’ll also highlight abuses of those laws that range from ridiculous to damaging and illustrate the need for patent reform and 21st-century…

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Supreme Court Hears Bilski Patent Case

As the Supreme Court heard arguments in Bilski v. Kappos (08-964) today, a case which should help answer the question, ‘what is patentable?’ – the Computer & Communications Industry Association urged the Court to correct a patent system that has run amok. CCIA argued in a friend-of-the-court brief before the Supreme Court and the court below, the…

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