06.16.22

Leahy, Cornyn, And Tillis Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Ensure the Patent Trial and Appeal Board Is A Fair And Predictable Forum For All Parties

. . . Bill Updates Proceedings At The Patent Office To Promote Innovation and Ensure Fairness And Certainty For Patent Owners, Patent Litigators And The American People

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, June 16, 2022) -- On Thursday, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Reform Act of 2022, bipartisan legislation that supports strong, reliable, and predictable intellectual property rights for all parties.

Patents drive innovation, benefitting the economy and the public.  Patents protect inventors, allowing them to commercialize their ideas and bring products to market.  But for American innovators’ rights to truly be strong, they have to be based on high-quality patents, patents that meet all the requirements of patentability and have undergone a rigorous examination at the Patent Office.

The PTAB Reform Act restores the benefits and fairness of PTAB review by removing any incentives for gamesmanship, removing opportunities for a challenger to continually harass a patent owner, ensuring parties have one opportunity to bring a meritorious challenge, and shedding light on internal Patent Office decisions.  Both patent owners and challengers will benefit from the added certainty and a more transparent decision-making process.

Leahy said:  “I’m proud to continue the work of ensuring that our patent system reinforces high-quality patents while protecting startups, small businesses, and American manufacturers from patents that do not represent true innovation.  I have enjoyed working with Senators Cornyn and Tillis to achieve that balance.  This bill represents the Senate at its best – different sides coming together to achieve a thoughtful compromise that is greater than what either side could achieve alone.  I look forward to finding a path to passing this important bill to strengthen our patent system and promote American innovation.”

Cornyn said: “The patent system must protect the innovations of America’s small businesses and manufacturers while not chilling groundbreaking research or stifling lifesaving drugs from coming to market. This legislation is the product of hard, bipartisan work to achieve the right balance, and I’m grateful to Senators Leahy and Tillis for joining me in supporting a patent system that works for all.”

Tillis said: “Our patent system and innovation, which must go hand in hand, are crucial to the United States’ economic growth, prosperity, and global dominance. We must have strong intellectual property rights which promote true innovation in order to continue our global and economic leadership. PTAB plays a crucial role in ensuring true innovation. However, prior to the Trump Administration, the PTAB was a forum for gamesmanship by big tech and they actively weaponized it as a way to bankrupt competitors, small businesses, and independent inventors. The Trump Administration’s reforms ended this abuse. This bill, which is a carefully crafted compromise requiring sacrifices from both sides of the issues, permanently ends through the use of legislation some of these practices – all while preserving the vital role of the PTAB in furthering innovation and U.S. economic growth, prosperity, and global dominance. I’m proud to work with my good friends Senators Leahy and Cornyn on this issue and I look forward to turning this common-sense bill into law.”

The full text of the PTAB Reform Act can be found here.  More information can be found in this description of the bill, myth vs. fact document, and section-by-section summary.

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