Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013

The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 2655 titled Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013 and the Bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. Although not a patent-focused bill, if enacted, the law could have a substantial impact on patent cases by amending Rule 11(c) by basically making sanctions mandatory for violations of Rule 11(b) certifications. In addition, the amendment would mandate that any sanctions compensate the reasonable expenses of the opposing side and also permit additional monetary and non-monetary sanctions as appropriate. The bulk of the amendment is as follows:

FRCP 11(c) Sanctions.

(1) In General. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that Rule 11(b) has been violated, the court shall may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, law firm, or party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation. Absent exceptional circumstances, a law firm must be held jointly responsible for a violation committed by its partner, associate, or employee.

. . .

(4) Nature of a Sanction. A sanction imposed under this rule must be limited to what suffices to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated. The sanction may include nonmonetary directives; an order to pay a penalty into court; or, if imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence, an order directing payment to the movant of part or all of the reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses directly resulting from the violation situated, and to compensate the parties that were injured by such conduct. Subject to the limitations in paragraph (5), the sanction shall consist of an order to pay to the party or parties the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred as a direct result of the violation, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. The court may also impose additional appropriate sanctions, such as striking the pleadings, dismissing the suit, or other directives of a nonmonetary nature, or, if warranted for effective deterrence, an order directing payment of a penalty into the court.

The House vote was almost strictly along party lines with Republicans voting in favor, Democrats against.

20 thoughts on “Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013

  1. Do you think any of these legislators would do anything to fix the major problems with the system concerning inventors who must be stupid to file a patent with the 40 methods of being cheated by the present system. Not a chance there clearly not representing the intrests of the people and only the intrests of the corp.

  2. Just a quick FYI for practicioners out there who are thinking about filing a QPIDS request. I have done about 6 of these so far. They are, by far, the slowest way to get your IDS considered, from the cases I’ve dealt with. And you might wonder why that is. It has to do with the internal processing of the requests. Just an fyi.

    1. What would you recommend instead, 6, when the applicant believes that the information probably doesn’t detract from the patentability of the allowed claims?Withdrawing from issue and re-opening prosecution, e.g. filing an RCE? How is that quicker? How is it more efficient? How is it cheaper?

      1. Look I don’t know what to tell you brosef. The processing of these things seems to drag on and on. Filing old school may assuredly cost you the old school amount, but I’ve seen no indication of the “quick path” being all that quick. I’m talking solely about time here and all I’ve seen is filings that take forever to ultimately get finished with. Individual results may very well vary.

      2. 6 didn’t do a good job explaining what he means, but basically, a QPIDS request (or any after-allowance IDS) doesn’t get docketed to the examiner until the Publications contractor picks up the case and generates a “printer rush” (i.e., they want to start all their work formatting the issued patent, but they can’t do that if there are unconsidered IDSes with refs that might need to be included on the patent). The length of time for that to happen is arbitrary and isn’t dependent upon when you file your IDS. On the other hand, an RCE is processed by the LIEs in normal course and lands on the examiner’s docket not too long after you file it.Of course, QPIDS probably doesn’t delay issuance by more than a couple of weeks if reopening isn’t necessary. But if you think that the examiner is likely to re-open based on your new refs, it’s probably faster to file the RCE (whether it’s better or not is up to you).

        1. That is a good explanation. Frankly I wasn’t in the know enough to actually make that explanation. From my perspective it’s all black magic that happens down the the depths of the support staff.

  3. So the reason rule 11 was never an Issue in my case… was because of the fake employment contract, that they knew about at least by 2008? So sanctioning me with a Rule 11 charge would be a lie on a lie? So why when I finally found out that RCL was hiding his FLA license.. after 2002…. did the FLA Bar play the trick rule 11 charge against me with a letter from Miami instead of Pensacola? If it was 2002 and after… then what up? He LOLOLOLOL claimed I signed that in 1998 or 1999… hmm gives a person pause as to why the FLA Bar would send me a Rule 11? I suppose it is MOOT or is a fake like the employment contract.

    1. And just like that, PUFF the FLA BAR employee at Miami was now in Pensacola… And his name Carlos Leon. Imagine that kind of magical power.

  4. Must be the trial lawyers lobby that didn’t go for the sanctions on the law firm bit – as this change would apply to any federal pleading subject to rule 11 and not just patent cases. Actually pretty reasonable change in the law considering some of the other proposals.

  5. “The House vote was almost strictly along party lines with Republicans voting in favor, Democrats against.” Then I oppose it.

  6. Craziness, the republicans doing something good it appears. I wonder why the dems are so opposed?

    1. A generalization, but the trial lawyer lobby is heavily Democrat leaning. Many think this is why Democrats tend to oppose almost anything that would deter the filing or maintenance of civil lawsuits.Even if this bill passes the Senate (and it won’t), it would not eliminate other safeguards such as the “safe harbor” that requires that the attorney or firm be able to withdraw the offending pleading or paper before any request for sanctions may be sought. Rule 11 is largely ineffective anyway as a deterrence tool, and this bill would not change that. It does not authorize dismissal of actions, nor does it impose wholesale fee shifting. The bill specifically maintains the previous requirement that any sanction be limited to expenses “incurred as a direct result of the violation.” In practice, that often means you won’t get anything more than the fees you incurred in bringing your Rule 11 motion, which makes you wonder why you would bring one in the first place.

        1. I’ll even tell you when the kook told me to visit the Lawyer in 1997 that was already given the mindset to disrespect me, I was not impressed by the room. Looked like a lunch room with a table and nondescript chairs. Also the room was of a cold painted cinder block façade. But I was impressed with the black board that was as long as the table it paralleled. I thought this is something that should be in every single legal office, or plant just like a school room. Those glossy boards that you mark and erase.. Why would you try to better a blackboard. The blackboard is a Dyson!

          1. And as I digress, I got a number to a judiciary official. when I explained to her what was going on, she said I cannot help you… Let me think my husbands Phone with his own number that he used at his new job, giving him a stipend to his phone bill,,,,,, then his own Phone was shut down? Hmmm…. could it be that they were relying on the fraudulent Document as prima fascia? Or was “MY HUSBANDS” Phone and number shut down because they knew what they told the judiciary was a lie? Take your pick.

        2. anon, on parties and patent law, both Hand and Rich were republicans, Douglas a democrat, and the divide between Rich and Douglas was clear. Rader is a republican. I am not sure about Newman and Lourie, but I also think, republican. Their views are known.Bob Armitage reminds us that he is a democrat and he claims center stage as a reformer. He was the architect of the AIA more than anyone else. His view is that first-to-file is the better system, but he has always been a part of big business and seems to reflect their views.Republicans are for tort reform, democrats against. But both parties backed the AIA.In sum, I think the ’52 Act in some measure represents a republican backlash against Douglas lead by the likes of Rich. The AIA is a product of big business, and was supported by both parties. The republicans on the Fed Cir and in the Supreme Court seem to support “broad” patent protection. I point to Bilski for that.As to Malcolm, he seems to align fairly well with the thinking of Armitage, a democrat, on most things: generally his views are supportive of big business, but that does not include “broad” patent protection.

          1. The justices in Bilsky that wanted to really restrict business method and software patents were Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Stevens, and Breyer. The ones that wanted to neuter the ruling even further to keep existing bad patents were Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, and Thomas. Scalia joined each opinion in part.That makes a sane patent system look like a partisan issue, but the reforms before congress are not partisan. Goodlatte (R-VA) and Lahey (D-VT) are the committee chairmen likely to drive reform legislation (once enough campaign contributions have been collected and the best provisions watered down) and the cosponsors are looking bipartisan.And the CAFC is not notably partisan. The ludicrous doomsday side of Alice were Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama appointees while the reasonable ones were Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Obama so it isn’t partisanship driving that kind of decision.

          2. I would decidedly say that that does not include “broad” patent protection.He has a habit of speaking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to strong patent protection (one side dissing the ability of common man to obtain them, entrenched with a Sport of Kings – It takes a genius – but for massive spending – and on the other attempting to diss the 1%’s and the rich and saying that patents are only for them – hence his silence on this topic screams volumes.What he refuses to recognize was so brilliantly captured in the award-winning journalism that was featured on PatentDocs awhile back that preached the benefits of a quick and fully alienable (and powerful) patent right. That is the type of IP protection that made this country great, that drew those who wanted to innovate and profit from their innovation to this country. Now, in the grips of Big Corp, we want expensive, weak and slow patent protection so that the Big Corps don’t have to actually compete on the innovation playing field – they can use their market size.

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