The House Judiciary Committee today approved patent reform legislation that helps create a level playing field for those seeking to encourage innovation. This is the second time in two weeks that a key Congressional committee voted in favor of reform. It is a clear demonstration of the bipartisan, bicameral support for reform.
Like any legislation, this bill is not perfect, but it takes a meaningful step toward reform which we support.
The committee approved a strong fee-shifting provision, and beat back efforts to weaken the measure; it includes discovery language that will help stop fishing expeditions; it provides protections against those who would use demand letters to extort cash settlements from small businesses; and it protects small inventors and universities. We’re concerned that the committee weakened the heightened pleading language, and will work to see that it is restored as the bill moves through the legislative process.
Let me thank Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Silicon Valley Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, and Congressman Darrell Issa, whose efforts on venue reform were of critical importance, and indeed all 24 members of the committee who voted for the bill, for their tremendous leadership in supporting reform.