Posts Tagged: "Congress"

Notice letters and licensing communications are an important part of the U.S. patent system

Notice letters play an important role in the patent system. Indeed, as the Supreme Court has explained, ”[p]atents would be of little value if infringers of them could not be notified of the consequences of infringement.” Virtue v. Creamery Package Mfg., Co., 227 U.S. 8, 37-38 (1913). Patent law encourages patent holders to take reasonable steps to notify others of existing or pending patent rights and their possible infringement. In some instances, federal patent law requires patent holders to send notice letters to accused infringers to preserve their patent enforcement rights and ability to collect damages. Notice letters and licensing communications can also serve the interests of accused infringers. Once a patent holder has made its rights known, the accused infringer can determine whether to cease the allegedly infringing activities, negotiate a license, or decide to continue its activities based on an assessment of non-infringement or invalidity.

The Innovation Act Will Harm Income, Employment, and Economic Growth

The legal costs of the IP system should be measured against the value of intellectual capital in the U.S. economy, estimated in a study by Kevin Hassett and Robert Shapiro to equal between $8.1 trillion to $9.2 trillion… Weakening the US patent system harms economic prospects for middle income earners because it will stifle innovation, discourage patenting, reduce private investments in new technologies protected by patents, slow economic growth, increase unemployment, and harm consumers. The proposed reforms will reduce prospects for economic advancement for middle income earners because they damage entrepreneurship and small business and favor large incumbent firms over inventors and innovators.

Patent reformers resort to misrepresentations in WSJ op-ed

It should be self-evident that not all patent owners are patent trolls, and when you acquire rights it is not an economic cost, yet these absurd propositions are at the foundation of the Bessen/Meurer “study” relied upon by Chambers and Ullman. Shame on anyone who uses the thoroughly discredited, agenda driven, biased conclusions of Bessen and Meurer. Shame on Congress if they are swayed by such snake oil and shiny objects. The Bessen/Meurer conclusions, seriously flawed as they are, shouldn’t be used to destroy the patent system and tilt patent laws toward infringers and away from innovators.

Congress expected to take up federal trade secret legislation in 2015

There was a lot of action on this in the last Congress. There is a group of law professors that have expressed some opposition to the proposal to add a civil remedy, in spite of widespread support among industry stakeholders. There was some controversy around some seizure provisions that were suggested in one version of the legislation. And I think those discussions will usefully inform what will be done in this Congress. But I believe there is a great deal of support for making that basic change to allow companies to have another—not a displacement, not preemptive of state law but an additional place to go to get the benefit of nationwide service of process and other special advantages of being in federal court.

In Considering Patent Law Changes, Don’t Forget Impact on Universities

While there has been much written in the past months on efforts to change the U.S. patent system, there has been little focus on the vital role that the current patent system plays in supporting universities in conducting basic research and development (R&D). This university-driven R&D is a critical force in driving innovation, inventions and often startups that create jobs and promote American competitiveness.

Issa strikes defiant tone over patent reform

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, struck a defiant tone this morning speaking at the National Press Club. Issa explained in no uncertain terms that the patent litigation reforms contained within the Innovation Act will not be watered down, period. He told the audience that never again will a defendant first learn of the allegations against them only at the end of the case.

Meet the Democrats of the House IP Subcommittee

Congressman Jerrold Nadler has been selected by Democrats to be the Ranking Member of the House IP Subcommittee. It appears that Issa may be getting squeezed out, which could mean that the House IP Subcommittee will have a lot less work to do than one might expect in a Congress that will be seeking to push major reforms to both the Copyright Act, the Patent Act and to implement federal trade secret legislation. Nevertheless, it is still worth knowing who the key players could be. With that in mind, and without further ado, here are the Democrats on the House IP Subcommittee.

Reintroduced Innovation Act Goes Too Far – By a Mile

This bill has elements that can be part of an ultimate solution, however it cannot escape being a rubber stamp for a viewpoint that sees intellectual property rights as nuisance rather than a principal cog in the American invention machine. Unfortunately, if the Congress moves forward and ratifies this bill in the form proposed, it will create more problems than the one it is solving.

A Conversation with Gary Michelson About Patent Reform

In my conversation with Dr. Michelson he explained to me that while he benefited greatly from the patent system he would have benefited even more if the system worked better. At this point Dr. Michelson “does not have a dog in the fight,” as he explained, because with the exception of a few lingering applications his patent portfolio has been fully acquired and he stands to gain no additional revenues. Nevertheless, Dr. Michelson, the quintessential successful American inventor, would like to see the US patent system improve for the benefit of all independent inventors, the American economy and to promote real job growth. He has some excellent ideas, I agree with his positions on almost every front, and it is with his approval that I put my conversation with him on the record.