Conyers & Watt: Goodlatte’s Manager’s Amendment Will Harm the Patent System

Nov 19, 2013 Issues: Antitrust

(WASHINGTON) – Today, U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte announced the Markup of H.R. 3309, the “Innovation Act,” this Wednesday, November 20th.  In announcing the Markup, Chairman Goodlatte released a Manager’s Amendment making changes to H.R. 3309. In addition, this afternoon Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the “Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013” to curb patent abuse, without infringing the independence of the federal judiciary and harming small inventors. In response to these developments, U.S. House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Congressman Melvin L. Watt (D-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet issued the following statement:

“While Chairman Goodlatte’s Manager’s Amendment made some improvements to H.R. 3309, the ‘Innovation Act,’ as currently drafted we continue to oppose this legislation that would make sweeping and unnecessary changes to patent litigation and encroach on the independence of the federal judiciary.  While we support measured and balanced changes to respond to the most egregious practices involving patents, we do not believe that this legislation should become a vehicle to pass far ranging changes to the litigation system, such as limits on pleadings and discovery, and intrusive mandates on the court system.  At the same time, we applaud Chairman Leahy and Senator Lee for their introduction of the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act which based on our initial review appears to offer a more balanced and targeted approach to the abusive tactics of some patent litigants.”

 

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