Coalition for Patent Fairness Supports Introduction of Bipartisan, Bicameral Patent Reform Bills House and Senate Patent Reform Act of 2007 Will Strengthen and Rebalance

Patent System, and Spur Innovation, Growth and Competitiveness



    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

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