Fair and balanced patent reform introduced
New patent reform legislation was introduced today in the United States Senate that, if enacted, would encourage precisely what a strong patent system should – research and development of innovative products and technologies throughout the economy.
We support the legislation – introduced by Sens. Chris Coons, Jon Kyl, Amy Klobuchar, Jeff Sessions, Patrick Leahy, Charles Grassley, Joe Lieberman, Orrin Hatch – for a variety of reasons, including:
1. It transitions the U.S. patent system to a first-inventor-to-file system, which simplifies the application system and brings it in line with the rest of the world. First to file versus first to invent is explained here.
2. It improves patent quality by instituting a new procedure for reviewing patent validity in the months after it is granted.
3. It provides a process by which additional information regarding prior art can be submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, making patents stronger and more likely to withstand a challenge.
Finally, the legislation also makes it more difficult to establish that an alleged patent infringer willfully intended to infringe on a patent, while providing more certainty in damages calculations and enhanced damages when a patent has been infringed.
So why is this important? Taken together, this fair and balanced legislation should be acceptable to all industries that rely on a strong and effective patent system. It will provide for high quality patents that provide more certainty to inventors.
This, in turn, will encourage the development of new technologies that lead to advances in medicines, information technology and countless other fields.
– By Tony Jewell