House Passes The Innovation Act – Next Stop for the Patent Reform Train: The U.S. Senate

Miguel A. Martínez, Jr. photo

The legislative express train that has been patent reform reached top speed in the House of Representatives this afternoon, and its next scheduled stop will be the United States Senate.  By a vote of 325-91, the House passed H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act, a bipartisan bill advanced by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to curb abusive litigation by patent trolls.  Make no mistake, today’s strong vote was the product of a collaborative effort by Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, including Chairman Goodlatte, Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chair Howard Coble (R-NC), Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Tom Marino (R-PA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

Much like the bipartisan vote by the House Judiciary Committee to approve the Innovation Act, today’s House vote to advance the bill to the Senate demonstrates the energy and support in Congress to tackle this growing and persistent problem.  Every year, patent trolls use abusive lawsuits to extort billions from American businesses, large and small from coast to coast, siphoning much-needed money out of the US economy, stunting job growth and raising the costs of innovation. 

While there are no confirmed dates for action in the Senate yet, there are certainly positive signs for reform in 2014.  The strongest sign is the bipartisan bill introduced by Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), the “the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act.”  We expect this bill to be the foundation for patent reform in the Senate, starting in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where a hearing on the bill is scheduled to occur on December 17, 2013.  While there are still issues to be resolved and work to be done, ITI looks forward to keeping the patent reform train on the tracks and moving toward a final stop as a law that will be to the benefit of innovators, consumers, and the entire U.S. economy. 

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9 comments
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  • Ismael Tue., December 17, 7:56 AM
    Dan Soucek is limiting the power of gvmernoent. Putting power back into the hands of the people. He is DOING SOMETHING. The County Commission RINOs need to take a lesson. How about DOING SOMETHING for the people. We didn't elect you imbeciles to sit in office and figure out how your going to be elected next term. We elected you lemmings to SERVE US, THE TAXPAYER. You SERVE US. You are SUBSERVIANT to us. Not to yourselves. Same for the county sheriff and others who misabuse their elected positions. Dan Soucek and Johnathan Jordan are representing the way politicians are supposed to represent. They put the people first. Liberals want gvmernoent first. Government is not the solution you liberal lemmings. A limited form of gvmernoent is what this country was founded on. Municipalaties have far exceeded the limited form of govt that made our country what it is. The fact you aren't allowed to raise livestock in the city limits, fire guns, or adhere to building codes are just a few examples of gvmernoent overreach. Soucek and Jordan have taken steps in the right direction to allow me, the citizen to exercise personal responsibility. Perhaps the trend will continue and we will do away with zoning altoghether as well as pesky building inspectors. I should be able to build and live in a falling down shack if I so choose. None of anyone's business. Also Soucek and Jordan, we need to rid ourselves of at least 50% of the police and firefighters in Watauga County as well. Personal responsibility is a grand thing.Rodger
  • Lee Tue., December 17, 6:15 AM
    It looks like Leahy needs to scale back some of his grand ambitions. Other mrembes of Congress appear to have wised up to the evident truth that a “comprehensive” patent reform bill is unlikely to pass, EVER. If Leahy were willing to break up his bill and instead introduce multiple, smaller bills addressing discrete law issues, then his (admittedly admirable) efforts at patent reform might meet with more success.
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