*For Immediate Release*
Thursday, June 4, 2015

*PATENT Act Clears Committee with Overwhelming Vote of Support*

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today overwhelmingly passed the
PATENT Act by a vote of 16-4. The bill was cosponsored by Chairman Chuck
Grassley, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, and committee members John Cornyn,
Chuck Schumer, Orrin Hatch, Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee.
The bipartisan PATENT Act takes concrete steps to stop abusive patent
litigation practices and prevent bad actors from further undermining the
system that has made the United States one of the most dynamic and
innovative countries in the world.
The cosponsors said that there remain a few outstanding issues. In the
Manager’s Amendment, there is placeholder language for amending claims in
the Patent and Trademark Office’s proceedings. Negotiations are ongoing
regarding this provision. Another issue is in regards to a proposal by the
life sciences community concerning the applicability of the Patent and
Trademark Office’s post grant proceedings to patents that are subject to
the Hatch-Waxman Act and Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act
processes. The cosponsors have agreed to work on these issues as the bill
proceeds to the Senate floor.
“Abusive patent litigation is a threat to our economy and costs consumers
and businesses billions of dollars each year. Too often, small business
owners are being targeted for doing nothing more than using off-the-shelf
products. These types of frivolous lawsuits cost them millions of dollars
and force them to settle despite having a strong defense,” *Grassley said*.
“This bill is the product of hundreds of hours of discussion among
stakeholders, administration officials and senators. It’s a real effort to
address concerns from all sides. I look forward to continuing the debate
on the Senate floor.”
“When businesses are threatened with patent suits just for using a scanner
they purchased, or website owners face threats simply for using basic
software in e-commerce, the patent system is not working as intended.
After two years of hard work, I am proud that the Judiciary Committee came
together to support the PATENT Act by a wide bipartisan vote. The bill we
approved today achieves a strong balance and brings needed improvements
that will ensure the U.S. patent system remains the envy of the world. I
look forward to the bill’s consideration in the full Senate,” *Leahy said*.
“This legislation will protect entrepreneurs and innovators in Texas and
across the country from abusive patent assertion practices that have
burdened America’s private sector for far too long,” *said Cornyn*. “These
sensible reforms are the best way to protect access to justice for
plaintiffs with legitimate claims of infringement, and to deter those who
seek to game the system.”

“This is a critical step forward in leveling the playing field to fight
back against patent trolls that are sucking the life out of our innovators.
I hope that this balanced and bipartisan bill will move quickly to the
floor,”* Schumer said.*

“I am pleased that the Judiciary Committee is moving forward with the
PATENT Act. The fundamentals of this bill are very good, with important,
commonsense litigation reforms that include fee shifting, heightened
pleading standards, demand letter reforms, and a mechanism to ensure
recovery of fees against shell companies. This bill is crucial for Utah
businesses and families that depend on our innovation economy. There is
still work we must do to strike the right balance on IPR reform, and I am
committed to work through all remaining issues to ensure that innovators in
every sector and industry are protected from patent trolls,” *Hatch said.*

“Today’s action in the Judiciary Committee demonstrates a bipartisan
commitment to cracking down on the patent trolls that stifle innovation and
cost our nation millions,” *Klobuchar said*. “Minnesota has one of the
highest rates of patents per capita in the nation, and this legislation
also makes important improvements to the patent review process so that
legitimate patent holders can better protect their patent rights, which are
vital to innovation and competition.”

“I am very proud of the work everyone has done on this essential
legislation,” *Lee said*. “This bill protects small businesses and startups
from abusive patent trolls in a manner that also honors the legitimate
concerns of patent holders. I will continue to work hard to ensure a
balanced approach, and I look forward to seeing this bill on the Senate
floor.”
A copy of the bill text that was debated in the Judiciary Committee today
can be found here
.
To watch the proceedings from today’s meeting, click here
.

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