Roundup of This Week’s Patent News: April 18 Edition

Hi there!  The Senate is on recess this week and next, so there are no official legislative updates at the moment.  But new legislative drafts are now circulating, which demonstrates that the bipartisan agreements reached late last week are being fully developed into fruition at a nice pace.  Matt told you more about the process and progress in a post on Monday, and on Tuesday he had a post on Apple’s hypocritical patent stances.  Another CCIA blog, the Disruptive Competition Project, featured a post yesterday on the Rockstar consortium’s patent trolling conspiracy.

Did we miss something?  Questions or suggestions?  Feel free to leave a comment below, mention us on Twitter (@PatentProgress), or email us: patentprogress[AT]ccianet[DOT]org

Roundup of This Week’s Patent News: April 11 Edition

Good morning!  Progress was made on patent reform this week, but not enough to get a vote before the Senate went on recess for two weeks.

A Senate Judiciary Executive Business Meeting scheduled for Tuesday was postponed, as was a potential markup for yesterday, although a “tentative deal” was announced Wednesday.  Chairman Leahy put out a statement Wednesday night saying that although members of the Senate Judiciary Committee “have made enormous progress” and they “now have a broad bipartisan agreement in principle,” patent reform would be delayed until after recess.  Chairman Leahy “will circulate a manager’s package the day we return from recess, and the Judiciary Committee will consider that legislation the first week we are back.”

In other news, at CCIA’s 2014 Washington Caucus on Wednesday, FTC Commissioner Julie Brill gave an update on the FTC’s 6(b) study examining PAEs, but emphasized that “Congress should not wait.  Further patent reforms are clearly warranted now.  I believe Congress should act as soon as possible.”  For more on her speech, check out Patent Progress’s retweets of the CCIA account on Wednesday.

And on Monday, the Main Street Patent Coalition put on a great event on the need for patent reform, demonstrating how many non-tech industries are being affected by patent trolls.

Did we miss something?  Questions or suggestions?  Feel free to leave a comment below, mention us on Twitter (@PatentProgress), or email us: patentprogress[AT]ccianet[DOT]org

Main Street Patent Coalition Members Advocate for Patent Reform in the Senate

This morning, the Main Street Patent Coalition held an informative discussion on patent reform.  There were speakers from associations representing home builders, realtors, franchisees and franchisors, convenience stores, credit unions, bankers, grocers, the retail industry, the gaming industry, Latino-owned businesses, and application developers.  They represent millions of Americans working in small, medium, and large businesses all across the country.  And they all want patent reform.

Several priorities that were raised repeatedly were (1) demand letter reform, (2) litigation reforms, such as a customer stay provision, and (3) patent quality.  And all of the speakers demonstrated how patent trolls’ extortionist behaviors directly harm jobs, economic growth, and innovation in their industries.

Patents being asserted against participants included patents on drop-down menus on websites, search alert functions, valuation tools, QR codes, ATMs, and other common tools.  Some of their members had even received demand letters asserting patents that had been invalidated.

One important point that was made was that nothing in the Senate’s bill will affect good-quality patents that are held by stakeholders like universities, pharmaceutical companies, and manufacturers.

Tim Sparapani of the App Developers Alliance summed it up well:  Congress’s goal for passing patent reform legislation should be that when the ink is dry, they have done enough to change the patent troll business model.

Roundup of This Week’s Patent News: April 4 Edition

We’re back with news!

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an Executive Business Meeting, at which Senator Leahy’s Patent Transparency and Improvement Act was discussed.  Senator Leahy postponed consideration of his bill to Tuesday, April 8, and released a statement about the plan for moving patent reform legislation in the Senate, as I wrote yesterday.  It is possible that there will be a markup or even a vote next week, but it’s not clear yet, as “negotiations are in full swing.”  For additional background information, see Matt Levy’s op-ed in the Hill from Wednesday getting into some specifics about patent reform in the Senate.

In other news, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Alice v. CLS Bank on Monday.  CCIA had filed an amicus brief in support of CLS Bank.  Ars Technica has a good summary of the argument.  The New York Times editorial board came out on Sunday a great editorial in support of CLS Bank, titled “Abstract Ideas Don’t Deserve Patents.”  Monday also brought the latest Apple-Samsung litigation, and CCIA’s Matt Schruers wrote about this episode in the smartphone patent wars and the innovation issues at stake on the Disruptive Competition Project.

There’s also a new Main Street Patent Coalition ad on patent reform, which demonstrates how patent trolls affect non-tech small businesses, and provides another voice joining the chorus that it’s time to #fixpatents.

Did we miss something?  Questions or suggestions?  Feel free to leave a comment below, mention us on Twitter (@PatentProgress), or email us: patentprogress[AT]ccianet[DOT]org

Statement from Chairman Leahy on Patent Reform in the Senate

We wanted to share this comprehensive statement from today from Senator Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, about the plan for moving patent reform legislation in the Senate.  He concludes:

I thank the members of this Committee for joining me in this work. This is an opportunity for us to come together to pass meaningful legislation that will help American businesses, innovators, and consumers while preserving what makes our patent system great.

I hope we will come together on an agreement in the next day. Then we can post our amendment on the Committee website so all will have time to review it before we meet again to vote on Tuesday.

We look forward to Tuesday, and to the Senate joining the House in passing patent reform legislation.