We Must Support the STRONGER Patents Act

President Trump does not use a computer but last week summoned big tech’s “Help Desk ” anyway. They came to the White House no doubt carrying their own congressional and administration punch list. Mr. Trump wanted help bringing US Gov. tech up to modern standards. They agreed to help. Trump doesn’t read long documents written in mouse print so we can assume like the rest of us he took a quick look at big tech’s “terms agreement” and perhaps performed one of his singing ceremonies. The question of course is what will big tech ask in return? We can assume Trump will be too busy to provide Obama-level fervor for their Innovation Act comprehensive patent litigation revisions (to further protect efficient infringement) but we also can reasonably assume  that by now he will sign anything this Congress can get to his desk.

Last week’s health system debate masked the introduction of the Coons-Cotton STRONGER Act . But it successfully ddressed the declining health of our patent system by :

  • Treating patents like any other property, permitting injunctions to protect patent owners against infringement during and after court cases;
  • Ensuring fairness in Patent Office administrative proceedings, limiting repetitive and harassing challenges against inventors; and
  • Ending the diversion of patent application fees to other government spending, ensuring the Patent Office has the funding needed to grant high-quality patents without harmful delay.

Many of the timely statements of organizational support for STRONGER (linked below) emphasized the PTAB issues now headed for SCOTUS review next year in the Oil States case.

Because of their 11th Amendment PTAB immunity state affiliated research universities and their patent attorneys may be tempted to wait on the sidelines.That would be a big mistake.

Here’s why…

  • There is no way to predict what SCOTUS will do when confronted next year with either an 11th Amendment appeal or constitutional consideration of the Oil States property issue.
  • More importantly, STRONGER also addresses eBay and its”no injunctions for NPE’s” aftermath and the  PTO fee diversion issue that must be fixed. And there is no excuse for non-solidarity with other less fortunate universities.
Universal all out research university institutional congressional contact is not only the right thing to do it is the only way STRONGER can pass given what we all know will be furious resistance by big tech. Now is the time for your institutions (public or private) to voice your direct support for STRONGER by contacting your Senate delegation to express strong support for STRONGER.  Such unified support is needed to avoid an angry big tech back-lash that will only make matters worse. The University Associations’ letter of support is here.
Here are additional statements of other groups:

Innovation Alliance
Biotechnology Innovation Organization