Congressman Stiver Continues Call for Sensible Patent Reform
While there is consensus across Capitol Hill that patent reform legislation is badly needed, the path to achieving a broadly supported bill remains elusive. This is clearly no easy task, as legislators must curb abusive patent practices, while strengthening the ability of patent owners to defend their inventions and businesses against infringement.
Last week, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) illuminated the many complexities facing successful patent reform by hosting Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) who overviewed the current major challenges within patent law. Stivers has been a stalwart advocate for sensible patent reform, such as last year’s STRONGER Patents Act, which BIO endorsed.
Stivers stressed the need for reform to patent eligibility rules and expressed confidence in the Senate’s progress on patent law reform. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate IP Subcommittee, along with Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Steve Stivers (R-OH), recently released a draft bill in an effort to “restore predictability and stability to the patent eligible subject matter inquiry.” This draft legislation is the result of inclusive discussions and feedback from a broad array of stakeholders, including industry, inventors, and academics.
A follow-up panel featured BIO’s Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property, Hans Sauer, who discussed patent litigation in district courts, IPR challenge proceedings, the need for modernized patent eligibility criteria and some of the more concerning patent reform legislative proposals under consideration on Capitol Hill.
Sauer recently testified before the Senate IP Subcommittee on these issues, with focus on patent eligibility standards relevant to Section 101 of the Patent Act which governs what sort of inventions are eligible for patent protection.
BIO continues to support balanced reforms to enhance the strong incentives necessary to sustain our nation’s global leadership in biotechnology innovation and the creation of high-wage, high-value jobs throughout our country.
It is anticipated that Stivers will reintroduced the STRONGER Patents Act in the near term – a move BIO continues to support.