Tag Archives: Statutory Reform

AIPLA On Board with Statutory Reform of 101

The AIPLA has now offered its legislative proposal for rewriting 35 U.S.C. § 101 that is quite close to that offered by the IPO:

Inventions Patentable

(a) Eligible Subject Matter.—Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or any useful improvement thereof, may obtainshall be entitled to a patent therefor, subject only to the conditions and requirements ofset forth in this title.

(b) Sole Exceptions to Subject Matter Eligibility.—A claimed invention is ineligible under subsection (a) only if the claimed invention as a whole exists in nature independent of and prior to any human activity, or can be performed solely in the human mind.

(c) Sole Eligibility Standard.—The eligibility of a claimed invention under subsections (a) and (b) shall be determined without regard to the requirements or conditions of sections 102, 103, and 112 of this title, the manner in which the claimed invention was made or discovered, or whether the claimed invention includes an inventive concept.

AIPLA statement. The AIPLA proposal is strikingly similar to that of the IPO’s (although not acknowledged by the AIPLA statement).

[DOCX File of Table: Comparing101ProposalsComparing101

101 Statutory Changes

According to at least one hearsay report, members of Congress are working toward a new patent reform bill on subject matter eligibility – likely partially following the models prepared by the IPO and pushed by Dave Kappos (among others).  There is some chance that it will be introduced this month.

I previously discussed the IPO Proposal:

Eligibility: Explaining the IPO Legislative Proposal

 

Congress Continues to See Need to Reduce Abusive Patent Litigation

I just watched a couple-month old Federalist Society Speech by House Judiciary Chair Goodlatte who offered his agenda for the committee over the next year, including further reforms to “reduce abusive patent litigation.”   Rep. Goodlatte’s prepared remarks on the topic are fairly short:

We’ll also work on reforms to discourage abusive patent litigation and keep U.S. patent laws up to date. Collectively, these reforms will help alleviate the wasteful burden of unnecessarily expensive litigation costs, thereby freeing small businesses to flourish, unleash innovation, and create new jobs for Americans.

Following his prepared statement, Chair Goodlatte expanded upon his approach:

Q: Can you give us a sense on Where the committee will go on patents?

A: We are definitely going to continue to pursue patent litigation reform.

Fortunately, the courts are also reviewing our patent laws particularly as they pertain to litigation. Some of the decisions they have made in recent years have had, what I think, is a positive impact on reducing the problem of patent trolling and making sure we have a system more reflective of incentivizing people to innovate; as opposed to attempting to profit from a false claim about a patent or a process whereby they threaten litigation which is extraordinary expensive in this field; and then say ‘well we’ll take 40 or 50 thousand dollars to settle.’ There was/is a big industry – I’m told a billion dollar plus industry to do that [i.e. patent trolling].

One of the issues the Court recently agreed to take is with regard to the issue of venue. . . In the legislation we introduced in the past Congress, we added venue reform to that, and we look looking to see what the court does, which may inform some of our work.  We are also looking at a number of other areas and reaching out to people affected by this.

[Our goal is to] both make sure litigation process is fair ,it is not abused, but also make sure that creative works, inventions, are protected, whether the inventor is large or small.

The approach here is that patent litigation reform is being linked with civil litigation reform generally – and Republican control suggests making it more difficult to bring claims.   Recognize that a number of influential parties, including IPO, have called for reforms to strengthen patent rights – so far that is getting no traction among Republican leadership.