From the Alliance

Jan. 30, 2015

UPDATED Innovation Alliance Press Release: More Than 250 Businesses and Organizations Send Letter to Congressional Judiciary Committee Leaders Urging Caution on New Patent Legislation

Letter warns that sweeping patent legislation under consideration could undermine innovation and job creation in U.S.; calls for targeted, measured reform

Washington, D.C. – More than 250 businesses and organizations of varying sizes and representing a wide range of industries sent a letter (Inventing America Patent Letter) to House and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders urging caution regarding new patent legislation and warning that some proposals under consideration would weaken the overall patent system and diminish innovation and job creation in the United States.  The letter writers – which include small businesses, non-profit foundations, American innovators, universities, entrepreneurial startups, manufacturing technology and life science companies – represent a broad coalition whose members represent the majority of the nation’s patent holders and inventors.

The letter highlights several major judicial and administrative developments in patent law over the last year that call into question the need for sweeping new patent legislation and elevate concerns that some of the measures under consideration go far beyond what is necessary or desirable to combat abusive patent litigation.  The recent developments include:

  • The Supreme Court decided five patent cases this past year that are already making it easier to defeat patents, including the kind of patents that often are asserted in abusive litigation, and disincentivizing the bringing of meritless claims;
  • The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), which includes a number of provisions to increase patent quality and reduce abusive practices, was fully implemented less than two years ago, and its effects are only now beginning to take hold;
  • This past October, the Judicial Conference of the United States adopted changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that will ensure that patent cases meet the heightened pleading standards required of all other federal cases;
  • The Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general also are aggressively using their authority to combat abusive patent demand letters and protect small businesses and consumers from unscrupulous practices.

Taken together, these judicial and administrative developments, and the plunge in the patent litigation rate – new patent lawsuit filings have dropped 40 percent, year over year, from September 2013 to 2014 – have fundamentally changed the landscape under which patent legislation should be considered.  The letter calls on Congress to consider these positive developments before making changes to the patent system that threaten the constitutionally-guaranteed property rights of innovators.  The letter also expresses the groups’ desire to work with Congress on targeted and measured reforms that address harmful patent enforcement practices.

The letter was delivered to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (R-VT) on XYZ.

Signees of the letter included:

Abcam, Abengoa Bioenergy, Access Technologies Group, Inc., Acorda Therapeutics, Actuated Medical, Inc., ADA Technologies, Inc., Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV), Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, AEQUOR, Inc., Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Alnylam Pharmaceutical, American Lithium Energy, American Seed Trade Association, Amgen, Amicus Therapeutics, AMJET Turbine Systems, LLC, Analytic Design Laboratories, Antaya Science and Technology, AquaBounty Technologies, Aquadation Technologies LLC, Architecture Technology Corporation, Arizona BioIndustry Association, Association of American Universities, Association of Public Land Grant Universities, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Athersys, Atlas Venture, aTyr Pharma, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Aware, Inc., Bavarian Nordic, Bay Area In-House MedTech Attorneys (BAIMA), BayBio, Bayer CropScience LP, Bennett Aerospace, Bi-Level Technologies, Biocom, BioFlorida, Inc., Biogen Idec, BioHouston, Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association, BioNJ, BioOhio, BioScience Association of Maine, Biosilo Foods, Inc., Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), bluebird bio, BrainScope Company, Inc., Brew Data LLC, California Healthcare Institute – CHI, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Celgene, Center for Health Care Services, Cianna Medical, Inc., Ciencia, Inc., Cleveland Medical Devices Inc., Colorado BioScience Association, Colorado School of Mines, CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, Conatus Pharmaceuticals, CONNECT, Cotera, Inc., CropLife America, CSL Behring, Cummins Allison Corporation, CURE – Connecticut United for Research Excellence, Inc., CyberLogic, Inc., Cybernet Systems Corporation, CymaBay Therapeutics, Dallas IEEE, Delaware Bio, Design Interactive, Inc., Digimarc Corporation, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., DSM North America, DuPont, Dynatronics Corporation, Eagle Forum, EccoCast Communications, Edison Nation, Electric Drivetrain Technologies LLC, Electron Technologies, Inc., ElliptiGO Inc., Engine Research Associates, Inc., Enteromedics, Entrepreneurs for Growth, Enventys, Epinex Diagnostics, Inc., Exagen Diagnostics, Exemplar Genetics, LLC, ExploraMed Development, LLC, ExploraMed NC7, Inc., Fallbrook Technologies Inc., FishEye Software, Inc., Flocel Inc., Florida Turbine Technologies, Inc., FM Technologies, Inc., ForSight Labs LLC, ForSight Vision4, Inc., ForSight Vision6, Inc., FORUM Pharmaceuticals, The Foundry, LLC, Gain ICs, LLC, Genzyme, Georgia Bio, GlobeImmune, GlycoMimetics, Gradient Technologies LLC, Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies Inc., Green Tape LLC, Ground Zero Pharmaceuticals, Inc., HF Holding, Inc., Hammersmith Ventures, Horizon Pharma, Hydra Biosciences, iChromatograpny/Analtech, Inc., IEEE-USA, Ikaria, Inc., Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization, Immune Design, Indiana Health Industry Forum, Indiana Manufacturers Association, Industry-University Research Center, Inc. (INDUNIV), Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Innovation Alliance, Innovative Surface Technologies, Inc., Innovative Technology Applications Company, LLC, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, InterDigital, Inc., InterScience, Inc., Inventors Center of Kansas City, Invocon, Inc., Iowa Biotechnology Association, Iowa Inventors Group, IsoTherapeutics Group, LLC, ItsOn, Inc., KBS Automist, Kentucky Life Sciences Council, Keystone Aerospace, Keystone Synergistic Enterprises, Inc., Kineta, Inc., Kinetic Resolve, Inc., Licensing Executives Society (USA and Canada), Inc., LifeScience Alley, Life Science Tennessee, Lightstone Ventures, MacroGenics, Maetrics LLC, Magnet Optimization Research Engineering (M.O.R.E.), LLC, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), MaxCyte, MCG BioComposites, LLC, MedCara Pharmaceuticals, Medical Device Manufacturers Association, Membrane Technology and Research, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., MichBIO, Minnesota Inventors Congress, Miramar Labs, Inc., Missouri Biotechnology Association (MOBIO), Modulated Imaging, Monsanto, Montana BioScience Alliance, Morgenthaler Ventures, Nasseo, Inc., National Small Business Association, National Venture Capital Association, Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, NAVSYS Corporation, Neotract, Inc., NeuroPace, NeuroWave Systems Inc., New Venture Advisors, New Mexico Biotechnology & Biomedical Association, NewYorkBIO, North Carolina Biosciences Organization (NCBIO), Nuelle, Inc., OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Open Innovators, Opexa Therapeutics, Orbital Research Inc., Oregon Bioscience Association, Orexigen Therapeutics, Orthopedic Venture Partners, OvaScience, Pacing Technologies, LLC, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Patent Bakery LLC, Patent Office Professional Association, Pennsylvania Bio, PhRMA, Precision Combustion, Inc., Principia Biopharma, Propel LLC, PTC Therapeutics, Qualcomm, Qualtech Systems, Inc., Quantum Interface, Reaction Biology Corporation, Receptos, Recombinetics, Regulus Therapeutics, Relypsa, Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association, Rocky Mountain Technologies Inc., SAb Biotherapeutics, Safety First USA, Inc., San Diego Inventors Forum, San Diego Workforce Partnership, SCBIO, Schaefer Technologies, Inc., Science & Sensors Technologies, Small Business Technology Council, Smiths Medical, SoCalBio, Sofinnova Ventures, Solace Therapeutics, Solar Designs and Training, South Dakota Biotech Association, Southwest Sciences, Inc., Startech International, StartSpanish, LLC, Student Employment Software, LLC, Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Tessera Technologies, Inc., Texas BioAlliance, Texas Eagle Forum, Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute, Texas Life-Sciences Collaboration Center, Texas Life Science Foundation, Theoris Group Inc., Thomson Licensing LLC, Trevena, Twelve, Inc., Unilife Corporation, U.S. Business and Industry Council, U.S. Startups and Inventors for Jobs, Valeritas, Vermont BioSciences Alliance, Versartis, Virginia Biotechnology Association (Virginia Bio), Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA), WiLAN Labs, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Xycrobe Therapeutics, Yorktown Technologies, Zatorski Coating Co., Inc.


 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.

Contact: Kat Maramba, 202-827-9678,