Austin TX Business Law Blog

Friday, May 8, 2015

Congressional Hearing Reviews Recent Patent Cases

Is patent reform being considered by Congress?

Our nation's patent system was not created with today's technology in mind. Over the years, various issues have been addressed by legislation or court decisions, but many believe a modernized law is needed. The United States House of Representatives created a Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet in order to stay abreast of technological changes and their intersection with the law.

A subcommittee hearing was held recently to review United States Supreme Court cases in the patent arena. The chairman noted that the Innovation Act had been reintroduced in the House; the bill contains reforms to address abusive patent litigation. Lawmakers discussed the importance of venture capitalists in fueling the patent system and the danger of amending patent laws in such a way that would lead to excessive litigation and discourage product development. Patent trolls were also considered; that term refers to people or entities who purchase patents without the intent to benefit from their protections, but rather initiate patent infringement lawsuits against businesses with similar ideas. Panelists urged lawmakers to adopt changes to current patent policy that would address trolling and frivolous lawsuits.

Patent quality was cited as an important goal, striving to strengthen requirements for patent eligibility in order to reduce the number of weak or overly broad patents in the system. Patent equality was also mentioned as a priority, seeking to ensure that laws apply fairly and equally to all. An essential component to this equality would mean refraining from legislative carve-outs for certain industries. Still, the venture capital industry, particularly those involved with technology patents, has urged the House to consider the unique needs of the start-up tech space.

The Kumar Law Firm PLLC is experienced in the field of intellectual property law. Founder and principal Sanjeev Kumar is an attorney who also has a bachelors and masters degree in electrical engineering. He has filed multiple patents in his own name and has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Contact Kumar Law Firm today at (512)960-3808 for guidance on your intellectual property issue, whether it involves patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets or more.

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