Yesterday, Senate Judiciary IP Subcommittee Chair Sen. Leahy (D-VT) and committee member Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Restoring the America Invents Act (RAIA). RAIA would roll back changes introduced by former USPTO Director Andrei Iancu and by the courts, restoring the America Invents Act (AIA) to what it was always intended to be—a cost-effective alternative to litigation, providing a way to accurately determine whether a patent should have been issued in the first place. These changes would protect innovators from the assertion of low quality patents and allow them to spend money on engineering, not lawyers.
RAIA addresses a number of aspects of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the inter partes (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR) programs. This post explains how RAIA would implement an Arthrex fix, overturn Return Mail, expand eligible categories of prior art, eliminate the Fintiv doctrine, modify the time bars and estoppel provisions, add a statutory stay mechanism, affirmatively require decisions on multiple procedures, bar ex parte communications to PTAB panels, place the burden of proof of patentability for new claims on patent owners, set a firm final date for issuance of certificates modifying patents after appeal is complete, and enhance statutory standing provisions. CCIA strongly supports this legislation.