Momentum Builds on Patent Litigation Reform…Goodlatte Bill Passes House

As we previously reported, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) recently introduced H.R. 3309, entitled “Innovation Act,” (hereafter, “the Goodlatte Bill”).

After varying support and challenges to the bill, as well as a competing Senate version, on December 5, 2013, the House passed an amended version of the Goodlatte Bill with a bi-partisan vote of 325-91.

This bill includes a number of significant revisions to the Patent Act (Title 35 U.S.C.) designed to reform perceived abuses in patent litigation procedures. The recent amendments added to the passed bill include provisions, which would: 

  • allow litigants to opt-out of the proposed pre-Markman discovery limitations;
  • preserve the ability of an applicant who is denied a patent to challenge the denial in District Court, as codified at 35 U.S.C. § 145;
  • require demand or patent assertion notice letters to identify the “ultimate parent entity of the claimant” in order for the letter to serve as evidence of willful infringement; and
  • require a study of the impact of the Goodlatte Bill on individuals and small businesses.

The next stop is the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Gibbons will continue to monitor developments on this important front.

Robert E. Rudnick is a Director in the Gibbons Intellectual Property Department. Thomas J. Bean, a Director in the Gibbons Intellectual Property Department, and Ralph A. Dengler, a former Director in the Gibbons Intellectual Property Department, co-authored this post.
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