Leahy-Cornyn Bill Would Allow Gaming of PTAB by Big Tech

Friday, Oct 1st, 2021

As the fight continues to protect inventors against the deep-pocketed threat of Big Tech and those who seek to engage in predatory infringement, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced a piece of legislation recently that would weaken critical IP protections the USPTO had enacted to the post-grant system at the PTAB during the previous administration.

On September 29th, Innovation Alliance Executive Director, Brian Pomper, issued a statement laying out the issues his organization sees with the Restoring the America Invents Act. In the statement, he explains:

“In recent years, USPTO updated the post-grant system at the PTAB in a variety of ways to make it a fairer and more balanced system, and one that we believe more accurately reflects congressional intent in the America Invents Act. Those updates reinforced that PTAB trials should be a cost-effective alternative to district court litigation, not an additional avenue for challenging patents. Before those updates were adopted, more than 85% of PTAB reviews were filed in parallel to district court litigation, forcing inventors to defend their patents in simultaneous and duplicative proceedings. The bill introduced today would eliminate many of those updates and reestablish PTAB trials as a parallel avenue, as opposed to an alternative to district court trials.”

Clearly, this stacks the deck against smaller inventors and innovators. Pomper continues:

“That would place an often insurmountable burden on smaller companies and inventors who don’t have the resources to continue fighting to enforce their rights.”

While Pomper and the Innovation Alliance look forward to working with the Senators on improving this legislation, those who believe that strong patents and IP rights are critical to innovation and economic growth in the United States should not hesitate to make their voice heard. Take action on our website here.