A who’s who of US tech giants are teaming up to fight for patent reform in the US.
Oracle, Google, Salesforce, Adobe, Amazon, Cisco, Intel and Dell will pool their money, expertise and resources to fight for new laws and rules which will make it more difficult for patent trolls to sue companies.
Coming together as part of the newly launched High Tech Innovators Alliance (HTIA), the group aims to work with Congress to get new laws passed and also push the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to introduce reforms on patent reviews.
HTIA also wants to work with judges to change the way in which patent awards are decided and, specifically, work to stamp down on patent trolls – companies and individuals who buy up patents with the sole intention of using them to sue others.
According to HTIA, the number of defendants sued by patent trolls, which bring a majority of all patent litigation, has nearly tripled since 2005. Accounting for 90% of litigation involving high-tech products and services, HTIA claims that patent trolls leverage the high cost of litigation to obtain settlements which impact innovation and hit job growth and R&D investment.
“A well-functioning patent system can protect investments in R&D, and our members collectively own over 115,000 U.S. patents,” claims HTIA.
“But when the patent system does not function well, it undermines rather than supports innovation to the detriment of all Americans — inventors, employees, investors in productive businesses and ultimately, consumers. The crisis of patent quality, baseless patent assertions, and the scourge of patent troll litigation are problems that must be remedied in order for the patent system to support high-tech inventors.”
“HTIA supports balanced reforms in the Patent and Trademark Office, the courts and Congress that address the root causes of these problems while advancing a patent system that promotes investment in new technologies and American jobs.”
HTIA has set out its first priorities for patent reform, including:
- Improving patent quality
- Supporting the Inter Partes Review procedure of the America Invents Act
- Making patent litigation fair and efficient
- Applying damage awards that are fair and support innovation