March 24, 2014

Senate Judiciary to take up patent bill

March 25, 2014 – The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin mark-up of anti-patent troll legislation from Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., this Thursday.

Leahy is the author of the "Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013," S. 1720. Earlier this month, Leahy issued a statement on the subject, saying, "Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have been working on meaningful, targeted legislation to combat patent abuses in our system. As chairman of the Committee, I am committed to ensuring we move forward with meaningful legislation this spring."

NAFCU has been working in support of patent reform legislation, including House-passed H.R. 3309, the "Innovation Act," introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and two separate bills from Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that would help discourage patent trolls from filing frivolous lawsuits.

Schumer's bill, S. 866, the "Patent Quality Improvement Act of 2013," would make permanent the Patent and Trademark Office's ability to review certain business methods and invalidate low-quality patents. The bill would remove the opportunity for new patent-troll suits being filed after the PTO program expires but before patents lapse.

Hatch's legislation, S. 1612, the "Patent Litigation Integrity Act of 2013," would allow courts, on a defendant's motion, to require plaintiffs in unsuccessful patent infringement lawsuits to pay court fees.