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BIO Coalition Submits Patent Reform Letter to Congress

December 16, 2014
BIO, alongside a coalition of patent holders and inventors, submitted a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on December 10 regarding potential changes to the patent system.

patent reform june 22 2011The coalition thanked members of the committee for their work to develop reforms which would prevent harmful patent enforcement practices, and once again reiterated their opposition to any legislation that would weaken the overall patent system.

They also asked that both the House and Senate committees consider recent judicial and administrative developments in patent law. While these changes may be attempting to combat abusive patent litigation, in reality they may be harming patent holders:

  • Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that will ensure patent cases meet the heightened pleading standards required of all federal cases. These rule changes make any statutory provision heightening pleading standards or limiting the scope of discovery in patent cases unnecessary and repetitive.

  •  The impact of new administrative procedures on patent claims created by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). These new procedures are already impacting the litigation landscape: judges in patent cases are now granting 80% of all motions to stay patent litigation if the patent is also involved in a parallel IPR (inter partes review) or CBM (covered business method patent review) proceeding.

  • The Federal Trade Commission’s aggressive action to combat abusive patent demand letters, protecting small businesses with effective consumer protection and unfair competition laws.

These developments, including this year’s astonishing drop in patent litigation, have to be carefully evaluated by Congress when considering changes to the patent system, especially those that could potentially threaten the rights and livelihood of innovators and inventors.