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Another Patent Reform Bill Introduced in Congress

May 07, 2013

Bryan Kohm, an attorney in Fenwick & West’s patent litigation group, was quoted in a Daily Journal article titled “Another Patent Reform Bill Introduced in Congress.”

Senator Charles Schumer has introduced a bill designed to expand on a provision of the America Invents Act and to lessen the patent litigation created by nonpracticing entities, commonly referred to as “patent trolls.” The bill proposes to allow the USPTO to review disputed business method patents for a broader range of industries. The America Invents Act currently only allows for these reviews for business method patents in the financial services industry. 

“The America Invents Act is helping to revamp the rules in the patent process, but there is still a window for nonpracticing entities to bring nuisance-fee cases,” Kohm said. “There’s this business model implemented by nonpracticing entities, they take these very questionable patents and they settle relatively cheaply with all of these companies.”

Kohm says that Schumer’s bill would create an alternative option for operating companies instead of settling through a “mini-trial” before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.