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Innovation Act Threatens Biotech Innovation

December 3, 2013
BIO has grave concerns regarding the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309), as reported by the House Judiciary Committee.

The Innovation Act was introduced with the goal of furthering patent system reform, particularly with respect to patent-related litigation. We support increased transparency and oppose abusive litigation tactics.

However, provisions in the Act remain overly broad in important respects and, if ultimately enacted, would continue to result in too many unintended and unknowable consequences for innovators who rely on the patent system to fund and protect their inventions.

Specifically, our primary concerns are that H.R. 3309 would:

  • Routinely defer or suspend discovery and litigation on the merits in patent infringement cases, whether in whole or against certain parties;

  • Permit parties to seek reimbursement of their litigation costs from other parties under additional third parties to the litigation in ways that create unwarranted risks for licensors, business partners, and funders of legitimate patentees; and

  • Require unreasonable amounts of pleading specificity, and disclosure and public recordation of patent ownership, litigation interests, and other business or confidential information.

More broadly, provisions in the legislation would erect unreasonable barriers to access justice for innovators, especially small start-ups that must be able to defend their businesses against patent infringement in a timely and cost-effective manner, and without needless and numerous procedural hurdles or other obstacles.

While we have been working to improve the legislation and appreciate some of the modifications that have been made by the bill’s sponsors, these changes have not been sufficient to adequately address our concerns, and therefore we cannot support the legislation in its current form.