Coalition of over 100 companies expresses concerns over the Patent Reform Act of 2007May 16, 2007

In a letter to democratic and republican leadership as well as the members of the House and Senate judiciary committees, the Innovation Alliance, along with over 100 other companies, expressed concern over many of the proposed reforms in the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (H.R. 1908 and S. 1145). The group states that many of the reforms in the Act are contrary to Speaker Pelosi's Innovation Agenda. The group states that:

[W]e strongly believe that certain provisions, such as those dealing with apportionment of monetary damages for patent infringement, expansive PTO rule making authority, an open-ended post grant opposition system, and a narrow grace period will not strengthen our patent system but instead will fundamentally undermine patent certainty, discourage investment in innovative technologies, and reduce publication and collaborative activities among academic scientists. For companies (directly, and as university licensees) in industries such as ours, the consequences – greater bureaucracy, inability to rely on valid patents, weakened protections against infringement and a decreased access to capital — would be devastating.

As discussed previously, subcommittee hearings were recently held on the House version of the Act (H.R. 1908). The Senate version (S. 1145) has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but no action has yet been taken. We'll see if this is an indication that patent reform this year may shape up like in previous years: agreement that some changes should be made, but too much disagreement about what those changes should be for any real reform to get passed.

To read the full text of the letter, click here.

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