WASHINGTON, DC — December 17, 2013 —
BSA | The Software Alliance today welcomed testimony from expert witnesses at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on how to protect small businesses and promote innovation by limiting patent troll abuse.
Echoing perspectives and analysis offered in House Judiciary hearings in late October, the witnesses on Tuesday stressed the need for targeted reforms to correct cost imbalances in the legal system that currently give predatory litigants undue leverage over defendants. They cautioned against expanding the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents at the US Patent and Trademark Office.
“Today’s hearing shows there is a solid consensus among a broad range of stakeholders that the best way to curb bad behavior by patent trolls is to rebalance the cost of litigation and take away their leverage,” said BSA Director of Government Relations Tim Molino. “If the Senate makes that the focus, as the House did when it passed the Innovation Act, there is a real opportunity to enact much-needed reform in this Congress.”
“BSA shares the concerns of many others who have cautioned against expanding the CBM program,” Molino said. “Creating different standards for different kinds of invention would imperil America’s leadership position in a broad range of innovative industries. What we need to do is pass targeted legislation that makes life harder for bad actors and better for innovators.”
The witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing included John J. Dwyer, President and CEO, New England Federal Credit Union; Dana Rao, Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Intellectual Property and Litigation; Philip S. Johnson, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Johnson & Johnson; Steve Bossone, Vice President, Intellectual Property, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals; Harry A. Wolin, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, AMD; and Todd Dickinson, Executive Director, American Intellectual Property Law Association.