May 21, 2014

Patent reform: Leahy withdraws bill, House panel eyes draft

May 22, 2014 – Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced on Wednesday the withdrawal of his anti-patent troll legislation from the committee's agenda due to a lack of "broad bipartisan support" on how to approach patent reform.

Leahy's bill, S. 1720, the "Patent Transparency and Improvements Act," was aimed at increasing transparency in patent ownership and protecting consumers against frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits.

"If the stakeholders are able to reach a more targeted agreement that focuses on the problem of patent trolls, there will be a path for passage this year and I will bring it immediately to the Committee," Leahy said. "We can all agree that patent trolls abuse the current patent system. I hope we are able to return to this issue this year."

NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler said that the association is disappointed that those who don't want patent reform have been able to stymie this process in the Senate.

On Tuesday, Thaler emphasized the importance of patent reform in a letter to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. The panel holds a hearing today on draft legislation from subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry, R-Neb. Terry's legislation focuses on abusive litigation and patent trolls' threat to job creation and innovation.