On February 5, 2015, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced the Innovation Act, which is touted as “address[ing] the ever increasing problem of abusive patent litigation.” The bill was introduced as H.R. 9, and is the same as the bill that passed the House in 2013 as H.R. 3309. As I wrote in this article, while the Goodlatte Innovation Act is focused on patent litigation, it includes significant changes to a variety of substantive provisions of U.S. patent law. With momentum building for patent reform, it is time for stakeholders to pay attention to the aspects of the bill that will impact an applicant’s ability to obtain a patent in the first place.
Section 9 of the Innovation Act is titled “Improvements and technical corrections to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act,” and includes a number of changes related to patent trial proceedings (inter partes review, post-grant review, and covered business method patent review) and other substantive changes.
It is likely that the patent litigation and patent trial provisions of the Innovation Act will receive the most attention and garner the most debate. Stakeholders who are concerned about the implications and effects of the other substantive changes included in the Innovation Act should make their voices heard, through their involvement with patent bar associations, and by contacting their Congressmen and Senators.