Startups Strongly Oppose The STRONGER Patents Act

Today, Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced a House version of the STRONGER Patents Act (S.1390), which would hobble the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s internal review system for challenges to overly broad, obvious patents and overrule decades of Supreme Court decisions on patent issues, exposing technology users to increased litigation.

The following can be attributed to Engine Policy Director Rachel Wolbers:

"One of the best things to come out of the 2011 America Invents Act was the Patent and Trademark Office’s new patent review process, which allows the office to take another look at patents for obvious and overly-broad ‘innovations’ which never should have been granted in the first place. Patent trolls and their allies want to kill this program, which has been used to challenge patents for things like sending emails with package tracking information or posting a podcast. This legislation would gut the PTO’s review process and make it harder for startups, small businesses and inventors to challenge bad patents.

This legislation would also overturn decades of Supreme Court decisions which form the foundation of our modern patent system. It would let patent trolls to obtain automatic injunctions at district courts to halt the sale or manufacture of complicated products using thousands of patented innovations based on allegations of infringement of one trivial feature. Liability for other sorts of alleged infringement, particularly induced infringement, would also balloon under this plan, including liability for end users who share products with their friends and families.

The only parties which will get stronger under this legislation are the patent trolls who are trying to roll-back protections Congress wisely adopted seven years ago. There are plenty of things that Congress can do to strengthen the patent system and fight the trolls which abuse it. This isn’t one of them.”