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Patent Litigation Legislation is Front and Center in Congress

from AUTM

Both the U.S. House and Senate continue to focus on legislation that would make significant changes to the way patent holders can assert their patents in court, an issue of major importance to universities and their technology transfer offices.

On April 14, the House Judiciary Committee held another hearing on H.R. 9, the Innovation Act, which would radically alter litigation laws affecting how patent cases are adjudicated. USPTO Director Michelle Lee testified that her agency is generally supportive of the legislation, which AUTM and the other higher education associations oppose as currently written.

On April 16, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held another hearing on the TROL Act, legislation focused on empowering the Federal Trade Commission to go after patent troll activities. AUTM and the other groups are generally supportive of this approach, which narrowly focuses on the problem of mass mailings of vague demand letters while leaving intact the protection for inventors provided by the U.S. patent system.

Meanwhile, discussions continue with the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding that committee's version of legislation.

As always, technology transfer officers should be in communication with their federal relations officers to assist in advocacy on this important issue before Congress. Visit AUTM's dedicated advocacy site for more information, including a letter of opposition to H.R. 9 from university presidents. more


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