Why Big Tech is Seeking to Undermine PTAB Reforms

January 5, 2022

As we explained in an earlier blog, Big Tech companies are now pushing legislation that would reverse recent reforms at the PTAB (Patent Trial and Appeal Board). These reforms have made the Board fairer and more balanced, including reinforcing Congress’s original intent that the PTAB should be a cost-effective alternative to district court litigation, not an additional avenue for challenging patents.

If successful in reversing these reforms, Big Tech will tilt the balance further in their favor and make it even harder for patent owners to defend their intellectual property. This is a blatant effort by them to gain more power, allowing them to crush small competitors and maintain their market dominance.

Big Tech companies and their lobbyists promote the PTAB as the saving grace for startups and small businesses seeking a low cost and efficient tool for challenging and invalidating “bad patents” that they are accused of infringing. But the reality is very different. Instead of startups and small businesses, the biggest users of the PTAB are, in fact, Big Tech companies themselves. These Big Tech companies like the PTAB because it provides them with an additional tool to drag out infringement disputes and increase the cost of enforcing patents for smaller innovators.

As shown in the chart below, compiled from USPTO data on Docket Navigator, Big Tech companies represent the bulk of the top 20 petitioners at the PTAB, filing hundreds of petitions challenging the patents of smaller innovators since the Board was established in 2012.

How Can We Fight Back Against Big Tech’s Effort to Undermine PTAB Reforms?

Head over to the Save the Inventor Take Action page and voice your support for the bipartisan STRONGER Patents Act, which would reinforce recent PTAB reforms by putting them into law. You can use the form on our Take Action page to send a letter to your congressional representatives or tweet at them.

And please retweet our chart showing that Big Tech are the biggest users of the PTAB: https://twitter.com/SavetheInventor/status/1474047149117624320