Innovation Alliance Statement on Introduction of the PATENT Act
Washington D.C. – Innovation Alliance Executive Director Brian Pomper released the following statement on the introduction of the PATENT Act:
“The Innovation Alliance appreciates the hard work of the Senate Judiciary Committee in drafting the PATENT Act. While this bill incorporates some welcome improvements over earlier versions, we must oppose its adoption as introduced. Passage of this act would cripple the ability of legitimate U.S. patent owners to protect their ideas from infringers, both in the United States and overseas.
“A strong patent system has been the engine of innovation in this country for over two centuries, and remains the fundamental driver of economic growth and job creation in this new technology-driven economy. U.S. competitive advantage depends on strong, enforceable patent rights that incentivize innovators to invent. A law that would make it harder to enforce U.S. patents will encourage the infringement of American ingenuity and innovation and embolden competitors in China and elsewhere.
“Unfortunately, the ‘customer stay’ language in the PATENT Act appears to be identical to the prior version circulated last year. While the Committee’s summary says that the ‘customer stay is available only to those at the end of the supply chain’ – a limitation we would wholeheartedly support – the language is actually far broader in scope. Congress must ensure that any ‘customer stay’ provision does not effectively immunize from liability large companies that use infringing technology and leave patent owners without redress for infringement by foreign manufacturers outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. In addition, the bill singles out licensing companies for discriminatory treatment, despite the significant U.S. trade advantage in intellectual property licensing: our country generates over $45 billion in revenue from patents a year—more than any other country receives from all intellectual property. This bill also lacks any changes to the inter partes review process at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to ensure fairness to patent owners.
“While we strongly support targeted measures to stop abusive behaviors, we fear the provisions of the PATENT Act, taken together, would tilt the playing field against our country’s most innovative enterprises, including individual inventors, start-ups, universities, and research and development-based technology companies. The STRONG Patents Act introduced in the Senate and the TROL Act being considered today in the House Energy and Commerce Committee both offer targeted approaches to addressing abusive behavior and strengthening the patent system that we fully support.
“The Innovation Alliance will continue to work with other stakeholders and the Senate Judiciary Committee to seek improvements to the PATENT Act as it moves through the legislative process so that we can ensure our patent system remains an engine of innovation and job creation across the economy.”
ABOUT THE INNOVATION ALLIANCE
The Innovation Alliance represents innovators, patent owners and stakeholders from a diverse range of industries that believe in the critical importance of maintaining a strong patent system that supports innovative enterprises of all sizes. Innovation Alliance members can be found in large and small communities across the country, helping to fuel the innovation pipeline and drive the 21st century economy. Learn more at www.innovation.wideeyeclient.com.
Contact: Kat Maramba, (202) 412-9144, Kathrina@BlueEngineMedia.com