Today, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced the STRONG Patents Act of 2015, a bill aimed at reducing patent litigation abuse while strengthening the patent system itself in order to sustain American leadership in innovation.
Among other measures, the bill would:
Ensure Balance in Post-Grant Proceedings
Maintain the low-cost and expeditious nature of the administrative-law process for challenging the validity of a patent at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), while ensuring fairness and minimizing litigation abuse. Clarify the adjudication structure of post-grant proceedings to ensure fairness and reduce strain on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which handles all appeals of patent cases.
Crack Down on Abusive Demand Letters
Empower the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on abusive patent-related demand letters, This section mirrors the bipartisan TROL (Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters) Act that was reported favorably in the 113th Congress from the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.
Eliminate USPTO Fee Diversion
Ensure the provision of adequate, dependable funding that is critical for the USPTO’s mission to issue timely, higher-quality patents.
Focus on Small Businesses
Analyze the impact of patents on small businesses, from the perspectives of both businesses that rely on patents and parties that are accused infringement.
U.S. leadership in innovation is due in no small part to an unrivaled patent system. Strong patents today provide for game-changing inventions tomorrow. We applaud this measured and targeted approach to addressing issues related to abusive patent litigation and look forward to a thoughtful discussion in Congress about its merits.