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
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
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