WASHINGTON, April 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Patent Fairness -- a coalition representing business leaders and innovators across the financial services, technology, energy, manufacturing and media sectors -- today expressed its support for the introduction of bipartisan, bicameral patent reform legislation in the House and Senate, both called the Patent Reform Act of 2007, and praised the bills' sponsors, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representatives Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas). "Patent reform will contribute immensely to America's competitiveness in a global economy and will reaffirm America's commitment to innovation and consumer welfare," said Jonathan Yarowsky, counsel to the Coalition for Patent Fairness. "The comprehensive changes proposed in the Patent Reform Act of 2007 will strengthen and restore balance to the patent system -- legislative action that has been urgently needed for years." Recent reports from the Federal Trade Commission, the National Academy of Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations have analyzed how imbalances in the current patent system are harming our nation's competitive position in the worldwide economy. Leading legal scholars and economists have spoken out in support of patent reform and opinion-leading publications, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Los Angeles Times, have editorialized in support of passing patent reform legislation without delay. Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court recently has found it necessary to review an unusual number of patent-related cases in order to correct imbalances in the judicial interpretation of core principles of patent law and procedure. However, only Congress can implement the comprehensive reform needed to restore balance in a number of areas of the patent system. The Patent Reform Act of 2007 will do just that. The Coalition praised the bills for addressing patent reform comprehensively and including provisions that: * Balance the apportionment of damages. The standard for calculating damages should be based on the fair share of the patent's contribution to the value of a product, and not on the value of a whole product that has many other components. * Establish fair standards for punitive damages. Awarding punitive, triple damages for "willful" patent infringement should be reserved for cases of the most egregious conduct, as required by the U.S. Supreme Court for virtually all other punitive damages. * Restrict forum shopping. Cases should be brought in courts with some reasonable connection to the case and not, by gaming the system, in courts solely because they historically favor patent claims. * Improve patent quality. The system should promote quality patents by providing a meaningful second chance for the experts at the PTO to review potentially problematic patents in a timely manner, and should promote sharing of information with the PTO to improve the process and increase innovation. About the Coalition for Patent Fairness The Coalition for Patent Fairness is committed to the passage of legislation that will foster innovation and economic growth. Representing a broad range of companies and trade associations in the technology, financial services, energy, manufacturing and media industries, the Coalition's members include Amazon.com, Apple, Autodesk, Business Software Alliance, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Dell, Electrolux, Financial Services Roundtable, Hewlett-Packard, Information Technology Industry Council, Intel, Micron Technology, Microsoft, Oracle, Palm, Inc., SAP, TechNet, Time Warner and Visa. For more information, visit http://www.patentfairness.org.
SOURCE Coalition for Patent Fairness