From the Alliance

Aug. 3, 2022

Innovation Alliance Statement on the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Innovation Alliance Executive Director Brian Pomper today issued the following statement on the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2022 introduced by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC):

“The Innovation Alliance thanks Senator Tillis for introducing the Patent Eligibility and Restoration Act of 2022 to restore certainty about what inventions are eligible to get a U.S. patent.  More certainty and predictability are desperately needed in the patent system, and this bill represents a significant positive step toward providing both.

“For nearly 150 years, Section 101 was interpreted to allow inventions to be patented across broad categories of discovery. This approach supercharged American innovation and led to countless technological and medical breakthroughs in areas that could not have been imagined when Section 101 was first enacted.

“Starting in 2010, however, the Supreme Court issued a series of decisions that have upended longstanding settled law, narrowed the scope of patent-eligible subject matter, and created unworkable and unpredictable exceptions to an otherwise clear statute. These decisions have created chaos in the patent world and left inventors and lower court judges uncertain about what is patentable. Meanwhile, our foreign competitors, including China, are granting patents on many inventions that are now unpatentable here. As a result, innovation and venture capital have been driven overseas.

“The disparity in patent eligibility between the United States and our foreign competitors is particularly problematic in the critical areas of emerging technologies and biotech innovations, including 5G, advanced computing, artificial intelligence, and medical diagnostics. This not only undermines U.S. competitiveness and the ability of the United States to remain the global leader in innovation, but harms U.S. national security as other countries challenge U.S. leadership in developing these key technologies.

“We deeply appreciate Senator Tillis’s dogged commitment to addressing this critical problem and providing more certainty and predictability to Section 101.  He and his staff have spent countless hours leading innumerable meetings with a diverse array of stakeholders dating back to at least 2018.  All that effort has resulted in a compromise bill that is not perfect, but that is the nature of compromise.

“The Innovation Alliance looks forward to continuing to work with Senator Tillis to finalize this legislation and get it passed into law.”