March 13, 2014

Senate Judiciary takes up patent reform March 27

March 14, 2014 – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., author of the "Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013," said the committee will begin consideration of the legislation March 27.

"America's patent system is the envy of the world and an engine for job creation," Leahy said in a statement Thursday. "Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have been working on meaningful, targeted legislation to combat patent abuses in our system."

NAFCU has expressed support for such measures already, 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.