CPF: Committee Action on Patent Reform Bill an “Important Step Forward” on Meaningful Reform
Coalition of leading technology companies applauds Senators Leahy, Feinstein, Specter and Hatch for leadership on reform
April 2, 2009 – Washington, DC: The Coalition for Patent Fairness (CPF) today praised the Senate Judiciary Committee for taking an “important step forward” in addressing long-overdue reforms to the U.S. Patent System. The Judiciary Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy and Senators Diane Feinstein, Arlen Specter and Orrin Hatch, advanced S. 515, the Patent Reform Act of 2009, out of the Committee today.
CPF today released the following statement on the progress of this important legislation that will modernize the patent system that hasn’t seen significant reforms since 1952:
“The Coalition for Patent Fairness applauds Chairman Leahy for championing long-overdue reform of our patent system and also thanks Senators Feinstein, Hatch, and Specter for their leadership on these issues.
“The bill reported by the Judiciary Committee today is an important step forward in the process of revising our patent law to reflect the realities of the modern economy. It adopts the "first to file" patent system employed by our principal trading partners and empowers the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to take a more active role in reviewing claims that patents were improperly issued. By enacting the "gatekeeper" and venue provisions, the bill begins to address the flaws in the patent litigation system that allow patent abusers, companies that do not produce or invent anything, to force our country's most innovative companies to divert billions of dollars away from innovation and job creation into litigation costs and hold-up settlements. As leading innovators and patent holders, we believe in and rely upon a fair patent system that protects the rights of inventors and innovators to recover damages for value lost due to infringement; we oppose the use of patent litigation to tax innovation by coercing unjustified protection payments from companies bringing innovative products to market.”
CPF is looking forward to continuing to work with Members of the Judiciary Committee to build on the progress made today. CPF believes that in order for the legislation to achieve the important goals listed in the statement above, several key issues remain to be addressed, including:
- Making sure that the adoption of a first-to-file system includes the essential principles needed to make that system fair, particularly the user rights for prior inventors that are a feature of just about every other first-to-file system in the world.
- Ensuring that the PTO's power to review the validity of issued patents can be employed effectively in the areas in which improper patent grants are believed to have been most frequent -- the technology and business method areas.
- Expanding the patent litigation provisions so that they effectively close the door on all of the opportunistic litigation practices employed by patent abusers.
The Coalition for Patent Fairness is a diverse group of companies and industry associations dedicated to enhancing U.S. innovation, job creation, and competitiveness in the global market by modernizing and strengthening our nation’s patent system.