STRONGER Patents Act – a Masterpiece

The opening lines of the press release announcing the introduction of the Senators Coons’ and Cotton’s STRONGER Patents Act (SPA) emphasize the bill’s important economic impact. They understate the bill’s breathtaking legal impact which is set forth in two other summary documents linked in the release; a “one pager” and a “two-pager.” Both are concise and must read. They reveal a masterpiece of common sense content designed to restore our once gold standard patent landscape to its former greatness. All three important documents are linked below. Here is a preview:

Among other things, SPA’s enactment would end PTAB’s reign of terror over lesser-resourced inventors and disruptive technology by harmonizing its burden of proof and claims construction standards with those of the district courts restoring patents’ presumption of validity while confirming patents’ property rights. Its put-up-or-shut-up one-time PTAB claims nullification process, its standing requirements and its meaningful estoppel provisions will help curb routine and abusive misuse by efficient infringer defendants against under-resourced early stage innovation. There are more equally important provisions.

Coons Cotton undoes PTAB’s recently asserted superiority to the decisions of Article 111 courts. It would restore the availability of injunctive relief to non-practicing patent holders eliminated for a decade by misguided court interpretations of eBay. It sensibly addresses the patent troll issue by expressly empowering states and the FTC to use their unfair and deceptive practices powers to curb patent holder abuse rather than weakening the patent enforcement capacity of all patent holders. It effectively ends PTO fee diversion. Universities will expressly qualify as micro entities under AIA. Below is the opening paragraph of the press release with its critical links.

In a press release published on his Senate website, Senators Coons and Cotton emphasized the bills true bipartisan impact. is quoted as saying that “supporting American inventors is not a partisan issue. The value and importance of patents is astounding, contributing over $800 billion in value to the U.S. economy and the source of millions of jobs for Americans. But, we must work together to ensure that the patent laws keep up with the innovators, so their ideas and businesses can fuel the American economy for generations to come.” Cotton’s statement noted that the erosion of patent rights imperil innovation and job growth, so strong patent protections are necessary to fully grow the economy. “I’m glad to see my colleagues from both sides of the aisle understand just how important patent rights are to our future,”

But to pro-patent advocates it is the two links in the release that are most important. Please be sure to read them. Anti-patent assassins will try to kill this bill. We must ensure its passage.

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