A letter went out today to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader, and Mitch McConnell from 111 companies across 27 states expressing concern over certain provisions of patent reform legislation (H.R. 1908/S. 1145The Patent Reform Act of 2007) currently under consideration by Congress. 

The letter is signed by companies, associations, venture capital firms and academic institutions across various industries – electronics, telecommunications, life sciences, computer hardware, financial services, chemical, and biotechnology. 

While calling to improve intellectual property protections, strengthen the patent system, and end the diversion of patent fees, the letter states that: 

However, we strongly believe that certain provisions, such as those dealing with apportionment of monetary damages for patent infringement, expansive PTO rule making authority, an open-ended post grant opposition system, and a narrow grace period will not strengthen our patent system but instead will fundamentally undermine patent certainty, discourage investment in innovative technologies, and reduce publication and collaborative activities among academic scientists. 

There is a concern that the reform could lead to an inability to rely on valid patents, weakened protections against infringement and a decreased access to capital, which would hurt U.S. competitiveness.

See the complete letter: cross-coalition-letter.pdf

See more commentary at Peter Zura’s 271 Patent Blog and Patently-O.

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