Patent Reform Bill Passes House
We were pleased to see H.R. 1908, The Patent Reform Act of 2007, pass the U.S. House of Representatives today. Our own local Representative Zoe Lofgren has been a great supporter of efforts to simplify the patent process and take some of the incentives out of the system for “patent trolls.” Rep. Lofgren states, in part:”I believe this bill strikes the right balance between the need for strong patent rights and the encouragement of innovation. My amendment to the bill, which was incorporated into the manager’s amendment, goes a long way towards addressing this balance by focusing on the troubling growth of forum shopping in patent litigation. The amendment restores fairness and clarity to patent litigation by removing the most glaring instances of forum shopping by patent trolls.” On this note, I came across a great blog site that tracks patent trolls and their efforts to game the system. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who lives right up the road from Silicon Valley) issued the following statement:”The bipartisan patent reform bill is a significant step toward our Innovation Agenda. It will strengthen the patent system and improve patent quality. This legislation is crucial for American inventors and American ingenuity, for consumers, and for greater innovation and economic growth.”Our SVP and General Counsel, Mark Chandler, offered the following statement: “This is a major victory for innovation and US competitiveness and is a culmination of years of hard work. We believe that this is a positive step into reforming the patent system for the 21st century. To make it a system that rewards innovation and not litigation gamesmanship.”Obviously, this still needs to be acted upon in the Senate and we’ll be watching closely.