CLSA Efforts to Protect Patents Gain Momentum

August 6, 2015

Congress is currently considering legislation, pushed by the mega-tech and retailer sectors, to address abusive patent litigation practices by “patent trolls.” In the House, this effort is represented by H.R. 9, the so-called “Innovation Act.” CLSA is actively opposing this legislation because in its current form, it threatens the ability of legitimate patent owners to enforce their IP rights. In addition, the bill fails to adequately reform the Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) administrative patent challenge process known as Inter Partes Review (IPR).

Due to significant concerns raised by CLSA and national associations representing biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, investor, research institutions, and other stakeholders across multiple economic sectors, House Leadership delayed consideration of H.R. 9 until at least this fall.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is also attempting to address the “patent troll” problem in the form of S. 1137, the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act. On June 4, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the PATENT Act by a vote of 16-4. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the committee, voted in support of the bill. This legislation, while an improvement on the legislative language contained in H.R. 9, also fails to adequately address IPR.

CLSA continues to meet with our California congressional delegation offices and House Leadership to urge they use the August Recess to address our concerns with the legislation and make the necessary and appropriate revisions so that the final measure is more balanced and supportive of the patent enforcement rights and protections so critical to our state’s vibrant life sciences ecosystem.

Patents are critical to promoting life sciences research, investment and innovation and CLSA is at the forefront of this critical legislative debate. To learn more, check out CLSA President & CEO Sara Radcliff’s recent op-ed published in The Sacramento Bee. Click here to view CLSA Board Member Paul Hastings’ op-ed in the San Francisco Business Times.

Should you have any questions about pending patent litigation legislation, please contact Jenny Carey, CLSA’s Director of Federal Government Relations & Alliance Development (