The bill’s purpose is “to strengthen the position of the United States as the world’s leading innovator by amending title 35, United States Code, to protect the property rights of the inventors that grow the country’s economy.”
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.
Stronger Patent Act
A one-pager on the STRONGER Patents Act explains why the bill was drafted in the first place. The overview cites changes wrought by the U.S. Supreme Court and unintended consequences of activities at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) created by the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 which have undermined the U.S. patent system, which was ranked 10th worldwide by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce despite having the top rank each of the previous four years. This shows significant impacts to patent-intensive industries creating high paying jobs with wage premiums of 74 percent and the $85 billion trade surplus that the U.S. enjoys due to the licensing of intellectual property. At the same time, the bill also has aspects which target the abuses of bad-faith demand letters as well as provide full funding for the USPTO to create high quality patents.
A two-pager providing a section-by-section review of the bill summarizes the various amendments made to IPRs and PGRs. First, the bill would harmonize the claim-construction standard used in PTAB proceedings with the standard used in district court, requiring claims to be construed as they would under patent validity challenges made under 35 U.S.C. For standing, the bill would amend IPR and PGR statutes to ensure that petitioners have either been sued by the patent owner or have been charged with infringement, limiting standing to those parties with a real financial or business interest in the patent to limit incentives for privateering or extortion of nuisance settlements. The bill would also amend existing U.S. code surrounding patent law to provide discovery of real parties in interest in PTAB petitions, including setting forth procedures for the deposition of witnesses submitting affidavits or declarations.