Patent Reform: Issa’s Litigation Pilot Gains Support (HR 5418)

Substantive patent reform legislation is dead for the year.  The one Bill that has some traction is Representative Darrell Issa’s patent litigation pilot program.  The Bill (HR5418) would cost only $5m per year and would change the random case assignments in district courts so that judges who opt in would be more likely to hear patent cases. The money pays for a law clerk with technical expertise.

On July 26, 2006, the House IP subcommittee markup, members approved the Bill, although more amendments are expected to address concerns that the focus on particular "patent" judges could increase the opportunity for forum shopping.

Rep Issa is the named inventor on dozens of patents and has personally been involved in patent litigation in his hometown of San Diego.

There is no companion Bill in the Senate yet, although Senator Hatch is said to be "working on it."

One motivation for the legislation is to try to reduce the CAFC reversal rate. Can someone do a study to see if Judges that handle more patent cases are less like to be overturned at the CAFC? You probably have a year to complete the study, because, even with support of the subcommittee, passage this year is still a long-shot.

Documents:

6 thoughts on “Patent Reform: Issa’s Litigation Pilot Gains Support (HR 5418)

  1. Kimberly Moore’s “forum shopping” paper didn’t have judge-specific data, but if I recall correctly the most interesting finding was that appeals from the District of Delaware, at the time the most patent-experienced court in the nation, were more likely to be reversed in the Federal Circuit than most other jurisdictions.

  2. Finally! A member of Congress who has a vested interest in the inventor side of the patent system.

    Between August 1983 and December 2005, California Congressman Issa obtained 36 patents and made millions on those car alarm you hear spuriously going off every morning (below). Congressman Issa submitted an Amacus Brief in the case Purdue Pharma L.P. v. Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., 438 F.3d 1123 (C.A.Fed. (N.Y.), 2006) (Owner of patents for controlled release oxycodone drug sued and won against proposed manufacturer of generic version for infringement.). Congressman Issa was a third party defendant aligned with Directed Electronics in Directed Electronics, Inc. v. Code Alarm, Inc. 185 F.3d 877 (C.A.Fed.,1998.) (Directed Electronics won verdict of non-infringement in a declaratory judgment action alleging that its car alarm products did not infringe a certain patent owned by Code Alarm).

    First elected to Congress in 2000, perhaps Congressman Issa may become the go-to guy when we need someone in Congress to support inventors rights and patent practitioners’ needs for a smooth patent system (in spite of his mortician-type appearance).

    Congressman Issa’s 36 patents:
    ALARM SENSOR MULTIPLEXING , US PAT 6317034
    CHANNEL EXPANDER FOR REMOTELY CONTROLLED AUTOMOTIVE SECURITY AND CONVENIENCE SYSTEMS, US PAT 6093979
    REMOTE CONTROL TRANSMITTER, US PAT D419474
    ADVANCED METHOD OF INDICATING INCOMING THREAT LEVEL TO AN ELECTRONICALLY SECURED VEHICLE AND APPARATUS THEREFOR, US PAT 5990786
    SYSTEM HAVING ADVANCED EMBEDDED CODE HOPPING ENCRYPTION AND LEARN MODE THEREFOR, US PAT 5952933
    LEARN MODE FOR REMOTE TRANSMITTERS, US PAT 5945936
    ADVANCED EMBEDDED CODE HOPPING SYSTEM HAVING MASTER FIXED CODE ENCRYPTION, US PAT 5914667
    CHANNEL EXPANDER FOR REMOTELY CONTROLLED AUTOMOTIVE SECURITY AND CONVENIENCE SYSTEMS, US PAT 5907195
    ALARM SENSOR MULTIPLEXING, US PAT 5900806
    HIGH THROUGHPUT EMBEDDED CODE HOPPING SYSTEM WITH BYPASS MODE, US PAT 5798711
    ALARM SENSOR MULTIPLEXING, US PAT 5783989
    SPARE CELLULAR TELEPHONE CHARGING UNIT, US PAT 5764026
    REMOTE CONTROL TRANSMITTER, US PAT D392944
    REMOTE CONTROL TRANSMITTER, US PAT D390830
    MULTIPLE TRANSMISSION CHANNEL GROUP TRANSMITTER, US PAT 5712638
    SECURITY SYSTEM HOUSING AND SIREN, US PAT D383690
    SECURITY SYSTEM HOUSING, US PAT D383689
    ADVANCED METHOD OF INDICATING INCOMING THREAT LEVEL TO AN ELECTRONICALLY SECURED VEHICLE AND APPARATUS THEREFOR, US PAT 5646591
    ADVANCED AUTOMOTIVE AUTOMATION AND SECURITY SYSTEM, US PAT 5534845
    METHOD OF INDICATING THE THREAT LEVEL OF AN INCOMING SHOCK TO AN ELECTRONICALLY SECURED VEHICLE AND APPARATUS THEREFORE, US PAT 5532670
    SLIDE-TOGETHER RELAY SOCKET, US PAT D352685
    VEHICLE ALARM CASE MODULE, US PAT D348622
    VEHICLE ALARM TRANSMITTER, US PAT D347190
    VEHICLE ALARM CASE MODULE, US PAT D345711
    SIREN, US PAT D345317
    VEHICLE ALARM CASE MODULE, US PAT D344905
    VEHICLE ALARM TRANSMITTER, US PAT D340000
    TRANSMITTER FOR A VEHICLE ALARM, US PAT D333795
    TRANSMITTER FOR A VEHICLE ALARM, US PAT D333636
    TRANSMITTER FOR A VEHICLE ALARM, US PAT D333635
    TRANSMITTER FOR A VEHICLE ALARM, US PAT D333634
    TRANSMITTER FOR A VEHICLE ALARM, US PAT D333633
    TRANSMITTER CASE, US PAT D303223
    BATTERY LOCK ANTI-THEFT SYSTEM, US PAT 4553127
    ANTI-THEFT CONTROL SYSTEM, US PAT 4463340
    ELECTRONIC KEY ANTI-THEFT SYSTEM, US PAT 4438426

  3. Maybe the complaints about the CAFC’s reversal rate are not justified. There is published literature that says the CAFC’s reversal rate on patent cases is nearly the same as the reversal rate of the other circuits in tort cases. I don’t have the article handy, but it was in one of the IP journals within the last 6 months.

  4. Rep. Issa seems to be a smart cookie that has real solutions to the challenges we face . He must have a well educated and knowlegable staff that knows how to get things done on Capitol Hill.

  5. “One motivation for the legislation is to try to reduce the CAFC reversal rate.”

    Maybe the problem is with the CAFC and not the trial courts…

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