In an all-too-rare showing of bipartisan cooperation, ten members of the U.S. House of Representatives came together in support of a patent reform bill introduced Monday by Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.
Titled the “Innovation Act,” (H.R. 3309) the bill proposes some significant changes to the way patents would be procured and enforced.
Chief among the changes are a heightened pleading requirement for those seeking to enforce patents in Federal Court, requiring “detailed specificity” as to how identified claim terms “correspond to the functionality of the accused instrumentality.”
Additionally, the bill seeks to add a presumption in favor of attorney’s fees for a prevailing party.
In what appears to be a move targeting patent trolls, or patent assertion entities, the bill further allows a prevailing accused-infringer to join and recover fees against non-plaintiffs who have a substantial interest in the patent-at-issue.
In fact, plaintiffs filing infringement actions under the new bill would have to disclose additional information about the patent, such as the ultimate parent entity and parties with financial interest.
On the prosecution side, changes introduced by the bill include elimination of the appeal route to the District Court found in §145 and codifying the judicially-created obviousness-type double-patenting doctrine.
Sectional Analysis of H.R. 3309 (from the House Committee on the Judiciary)