It was a big day in the land of patent troll reform, as the House resoundingly passed the Innovation Act with strong support from both sides of the aisle. The bill has some great features, including:
greater disclosure by patent owners so that accused infringers know what they’re accused of
discovery reforms to streamline and reduce the cost of patent litigation
a customer stay provision so that if someone is accused of patent infringement based on a product purchased “off the shelf”, the manufacturer can (with the consent of the accused infringer) step in to conduct the defense
If there was a real disappointment, it was that the “concern trolls” won this round by managing to keep any improvement of the covered business method review program out of the bill. Using everything from misleading statements to out-and-out falsehoods, a handful of protectors of the status quo created a panic about what should have been a fairly non-controversial provision.
I’ll be writing more about that in the days to come, because as we move to the Senate next, we don’t seem to have lost momentum: the Senate Judiciary Committee is having a hearing on December 17 on the patent troll issue.
And for all you patent trolls out there, here’s a little music for you (I apologize if there’s a commercial at the beginning, but it’s the official video):