House Judiciary to Markup Patent Reform Bill

November 20, 2013

pic-court-gavelToday, the House Judiciary Committee is marking up the recently introduced Innovation Act (H.R. 3309). This bill is the product of several months of discussions and negotiations on the part of both Members of Congress and key stakeholders to address the purported increase in patent infringement litigation. The Innovation Act has gone through a series of revisions the most recent of which was a Manager’s Amendment offered by Chairman Goodlatte.  H.R. 3309 incorporated various aspects of several pieces of legislation that have been introduced on both sides of the Hill on issues ranging from heightened pleading requirements and fee shifting to discovery reform and increased transparency of patent ownership.

Early in this process, NSBA signed on to a letter urging Members to exercise extreme caution in proceeding with any legislation that has the potential to further weaken our patent system and requesting targeted hearings on the subject with testimony from a number of key stakeholders including small business.  Prior to today’s markup, the House Judiciary Committee held only one hearing on the bill, just six days after it was introduced, at which no small businesses or individual inventors were able to testify.  Initially, there was some hope that Chairman Goodlatte might agree to hold another hearing on the measure so that small businesses and individual inventors could be heard, but that did not occur.

NSBA is in the process of discussing the issues involved with members and charting a path forward, but would again urge Members to exercise extreme caution in advancing any legislation that would have such a substantial impact on America’s entrepreneurs and small business community.

Please click here to watch the hearing live.