Patent Reform: Sharp Dispute Over Injunction Provisions

Brenda Sandburg at The Recorder has an interesting article out today that focuses on the injunction provisions of the proposed patent legislation.  The proposal reduces the likelihood of obtaining an injunction — even after a finding of willfulness.  One of the factors included in the legislation is whether the patentee is commercializing the invention — a move to limit the power of patent holding companies.

The article includes some disagreement regarding the prevalence of lawsuits by patent holding companies:

  • Peter Detkin (Intellectual Ventures): Only 2% of patent cases filed in the past five years were filed by holding companies that don’t sell any products — and 1/2 of those suits were by Acacia Technology Group.
  • David Simon (Intel): Most cases involve Fortune 500 companies being sued by unheard-of companies.

Looks like a great research opportunity for a law review article.

Ron Riley, who’s inventor’s alliance has helped to block patent reform in the past is looking for reform measures going the other way:

  • Measures to stop large entities from influencing the PTO to systematically harass inventors on behalf of those companies;
  • Increase punitive damages for up to ten-fold for willful infringement; and
  • Perhaps add criminal provisions for willful infringement (as have been added for copyright violations).