From the Alliance

May. 21, 2014

University Associations & Innovation Alliance Applaud Decision to Hold on Patent Legislation

WASHINGTON – The Innovation Alliance and six university associations* today thanked Chairman Leahy for his delay of a markup of potential patent legislation. Together with BIO they sent the attached letter yesterday to Senate Judiciary Committee Members which expressed concern that the latest language being shared in advance of a potential markup would have overly burdened the legitimate enforcement of patents.

The groups have worked constructively for months with members of the Judiciary Committee to craft a responsible, balanced bill that addresses abusive behavior. In his statement today, Chairman Leahy emphasized that any effort to address abusive behavior must not “[burden] the companies and universities who rely on the patent system every day to protect their inventions.” He noted that the Committee has “heard repeated concerns that the House-passed bill went beyond the scope of addressing patent trolls, and would have severe unintended consequences on legitimate patent holders who employ thousands of Americans.”

“The first rule of patent legislation should be to do no harm,” said John Vaughn, Executive Vice President of the Association of American Universities. “We appreciate the efforts of Chairman Leahy and the entire Judiciary Committee to ensure that in addressing abusive behavior, we don’t undermine the system that all patent holders, including America’s inventors, entrepreneurs and universities rely upon to maintain and strengthen our country’s legacy as the global innovation leader.”

“The Innovation Alliance has long supported efforts to address abusive behavior, provided it does not come at the expense of a patent system that supports inventors and entrepreneurs, and has created the greatest economy in the world,” said Brian Pomper, Executive Director of the Innovation Alliance. “We applaud Chairman Leahy and all Judiciary Committee Members for their thoughtful recognition that an unbalanced policy will substantially weaken all patents and the rights of patent holders large and small, shortchanging job creation and our overall future economic growth. We appreciate the opportunity to work together to find a more balanced pathway forward.”

*Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), American Council on Education (ACE), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), Council on Governmental Relations (COGR).


Contact: Jaime Horn, (202) 827-7859,