Senate Judiciary Committee Postpones Patent Bill Markup

April 10, 2014

pic-patent-drawingOn Tuesday, April 8, the Senate Judiciary Committee was initially scheduled to markup the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720). However, the markup was rescheduled for Thursday, April 10, and has yet again been postponed as Senators and staff continue to work toward an agreement.  S. 1720 was introduced on Nov. 18, 2013 by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) with the goal of curbing the purported increase in patent infringement litigation.

Among the issues addressed in the underlying bill include patent transparency, bad faith demand letters, and customer stay, among several others. However, it’s expected that the final product will not be limited to the foregoing as several other measures on the subject have been introduced this Congress and are likely to be included in some form. The other issues may include discovery reform, fee shifting and joinder, and will likely manifest themselves in the form of the Manager’s Amendment, which is expected to be offered by Sen. Leahy.

Last week, NSBA signed on to a letter urging Members to exercise caution in moving forward with this legislation to ensure that it does not have a disproportionate impact and unduly burden small businesses and individual inventors.

NSBA will continue to keep its members apprised of any relevant developments.