Federal Policy Agenda

Intellectual Property and Patent Reform

TechNet advocates for a healthy patent system that yields high-quality patents, promotes innovation, and deters frivolous patent litigation.

·      Patents are key drivers of our innovation economy.  They support the creation of new and innovative products and services, which, in turn, create new jobs.  TechNet values the incentives of the patent system and recognizes that predatory litigation threatens to undermine this precious resource.

·      With technologies evolving more rapidly than ever, TechNet believes patent law and policy must foster an environment where innovation can flourish among companies of all sizes and across all sectors.

·       High-quality patents promote innovation.  Low-quality patents hinder innovation by fueling abusive litigation.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) must continue to develop and implement patent examination rules, procedures, and guidance to promote the issuance of high-quality patents that provide clear public notice of claim scope to downstream innovators and implementers.

·       The PTO needs adequate and stable funding to fulfill its mission.  Congress should ensure that the PTO retains flexibility to set appropriate user fees and that all user fees stay with the agency to fund its operations.

·       The Inter Partes Review (IPR) program is a vital tool for improving patent quality and reducing abusive litigation.  IPRs provide for fair and efficient administrative review of patents of questionable validity, weeding bad patents out of the system more quickly and at far lower cost than through district court litigation.  Congress and the PTO should resist any efforts to undermine the program.  

·       TechNet supports reforms that deter litigation abuse, including policies that discourage vague and unsupported infringement allegations, asymmetric discovery burdens, and forum shopping.  Proper jurisdiction within the bounds of statutory authority should be enforced and remedies should be narrowly tailored.

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