WASHINGTON, DC — October 29, 2013 —
BSA | The Software Alliance today welcomed testimony from expert witnesses at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on how to improve the patent system to promote American innovation and competitiveness.
The witnesses included Krish Gupta, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of EMC Corporation; Kevin Kramer, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property at Yahoo! Inc.; David J. Kappos, Former Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office; and Robert A. Armitage, Former General Counsel of Eli Lilly & Co.
All stressed the need for targeted reforms to correct cost imbalances in the legal system that currently give predatory litigants undue leverage over defendants. Kappos and Armitage meanwhile cautioned against expanding the PTO’s Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents, which has been in effect for little more than a year.
“Today’s hearing shows there is a growing consensus that the goal of patent legislation should be to make life hard for bad actors and better for innovators,” said BSA Director of Government Relations Tim Molino. “Chairman Goodlatte’s Innovation Act includes important judicial reform measures that will make predatory litigation a less attractive business model. As the legislative process moves forward, that should be the focus, because abusive litigation practices are the problem, not the patent system itself.”
“BSA shares the concerns of others in America’s most innovative industries who have cautioned against expanding the CBM program,” Molino said. “If we create different standards for different kinds of invention, we will imperil America’s leadership position in a broad range of industries dependent on science, technology and engineering. At the end of the day, US innovation and competitiveness is at stake.”