Patent News

Jan. 9, 2014

NEW STUDY: The Heritage Foundation: A balanced approach to patent reform: Addressing the patent-troll problem without stifling innovation

The preeminent conservative think tank’s report recommendations echo the Innovation Alliance’s push for a cautious and deliberative approach to patent litigation.
Key points from the backgrounder:

  • Patent rights serve as a vital engine of economic growth, improving the quality (and length, in the case of innovative medical devices and new pharmaceuticals) of Americans’ lives.
  • Patent rights are critical, constitutionally enshrined property rights that promote American innovation and improve the quality and length of Americans’ lives. They should be strongly protected.
  • The proper way to address patent trolls is by using the same means and methods that would likely work against bad actors who exist in other areas of the law.
  • Patent lawsuits have the same pitfalls as other civil lawsuits: Greedy trial lawyers should be discouraged so that business can innovate without undue fear of court costs (as is the case in overly broad fee-shifting provision.)
  • Patent litigation should be balanced and not simply shift burdens in order to weaken patent rights.
  • Judges should be empowered and encouraged to employ sanctions and bond requirements to deter abusive litigants of all types, not based on whether they are plaintiffs or defendants or whether they are patent assertion entities or “active users” of a patent. In other words, actions on patents should target abusive behavior and not actors.

Please click here for the full backgrounder.