Last Thursday, December 5, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3309 (“the Innovation Act”), a patent reform bill generally directed to perceived patent litigation abuse by certain patent assertion entities (what some call “patent trolls”).  Prior draft versions of the House bill had gone through several revisions in the past few months (see our September

Yesterday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Committee member Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced another patent reform measure called the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013, including a press release, section-by-section summary of the proposed legislation and legislation text.  This joins other currently considered patent reform legislation such as that

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced today the Patent Litigation Integrity Act (S. 1612) “to address the growing threat of so-called ‘patent trolls'” who “purchase existing broad patents and then threaten businesses of infringing” them.  Sen. Hatch issued a press release and one-page summary of the proposed legisltation, which provides two reform measures.

First, the

Yesterday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va) released a second discussion draft of a patent reform bill directed to concerns about patent litigation abuse, which draft replaces his prior May 2013 discussion draft.  This second discussion draft includes the requirement to plead what standard setting organization obligations apply to an asserted patent, stating:

ShieldThere’s been much ado in the patent community over the past week over the re-introduction of H.R. 845, the Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act of 2013 — more commonly known as the SHIELD Act.  This legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), seeks to “protect American tech companies from frivolous patent lawsuits that cost jobs and resources” by  implementing a “loser pays” fee-shifting paradigm for patent infringement cases brought by certain types of non-practicing entities.  (A prior version introduced last year, H.R. 6245, was much more limited in its implementation of fee-shifting.)

While this is a bit off-topic for our blog, we thought this proposed legislation is sufficiently important to our readers that we’d do a brief post on it — especially given the penchant by some NPEs to assert standard-essential patents.  The legislation (at least as it’s currently drafted) has raised a lot of questions and issues and has generated a lot of commentary (both pro and con) from the business and legal communities.  After the jump, we’ll run through a quick summary of the provisions of the SHIELD Act, some first impressions about questions it may raise, and provide some links to a variety of others’ views on the proposed law.

Continue Reading The new (and improved?) SHIELD Act