Posted by Dana Rao, Vice President of Intellectual Property and Litigation
Things can get done! The House acted in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion to pass the Innovation Act this morning, 325-91! Members of Congress and their staffs spent months developing language to address a problem that is costing our economy billions of dollars. I am impressed and delighted with the ready recognition and sophisticated understanding of this problem by Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and all of us affected by this problem (and that is pretty much all of us) appreciate their energy and efforts in developing a set of comprehensive solutions to reform patent litigation abuses. Unfortunately, the patent trolls have made it too easy to demonstrate the real consequences of this abusive behavior. But, it has taken real work to come up with a fair and balanced solution that addresses the problem and also ensures that the patent system works to protect innovators small and large. In fact, the Innovation Act streamlines the litigation process to minimize the cost of litigation for both parties, which benefits the small patent holder plaintiff as well as the patent defendant. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, Adobe is grateful for Congressman Goodlatte’s leadership role in developing this legislation, and for the support of other key co-sponsors including Representatives Lofgren, Coble, DeFazio, Smith, Eshoo, Chaffetz, Bachus, Marino, Farenthold, and Holding.
With the White House signaling its support of the Innovation Act in a Statement of Administration Policy released earlier this week, the conversation turns to the Senate with a hearing scheduled for December 17th. I hope that the energizing debate in the House today drives a sense of urgency in the Senate to act in early 2014 to pass a bill of similar breadth and effectiveness as HR 3309. It is critical that fee shifting, along with a method of ensuring those fees are paid, are elements present in any patent reform legislation. As I have noted before, unless the patent trolls face some risk for filing meritless lawsuits, these suits will continue. And money that should have been spent on investing in hiring, developing new technologies, and moving America’s economy forward will instead be spent on lawyers and patent trolls. Let’s get an effective patent reform bill passed in the Senate, so we can go back to innovating and driving America’s economy forward.
Thank you again to everyone who has focused attention on fixing the patent system and upholding the status of the United States as one of the best places in the world to innovate.