February 20, 2014

White House push on patent reform eyed today

Feb. 20, 2014 – The White House is poised to host a meeting today that will include a push for companies to create databases of "prior art" and for legislation pending in Congress to deal with patent trolls, reports said last night.

Today's meeting is expected to include Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and Michelle Lee, deputy director of the Patent and Trademark Office, according to a post last night on Hillicon Valley, The Hill's technology blog. (Meanwhile, Sperling has announced plans to leave his post March 5.)

NAFCU is working strongly in support of such measures, including the recently House-passed H.R. 3309, the "Innovation Act," introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.

H.R. 3309 builds upon the Leahy-Smith Act by requiring those alleging infringement to give the specifics of what and whose patent is infringed, and how it is infringed; limit discovery requirements; and allow courts to shift legal costs to winning parties.

Databases on "prior art," according to Wednesday's blog post on The Hill, would be meant to provide patent examiners a reference when reviewing new patent applications.