On November 14, 2013, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) and King & Spalding co-hosted a thought leadership event focused on abusive patent litigation and its effect on U.S. innovation. The Capitol Hill event followed on the recent release of bipartisan legislation, the Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 3309), introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R VA) to address the increasing problem of abusive patent litigation.
The principal features of the Goodlatte bill are (a) a heightened pleading requirement for filing patent infringement claims; (b) an assumption that attorneys’ fees will be awarded to the prevailing party; (c) limited discovery until after a claim construction ruling; (d) disclosure of the financial ownership of the patent; and (e) a stay for customer suits pending resolution of the case against the manufacturer, among other features. H.R. 3309 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on November 20 by a vote of 33-5. In addition, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a similar bill on November 18 entitled the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720).
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