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Higher Education Associations Comment on “Patent Troll” Legislation

November 15, 2013—The AAMC joined five higher education associations in a Nov. 8 statement to the House Judiciary Committee regarding the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309), outlining university concerns and offering to work with the committee to improve the measure.

The associations commend Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) “for the open, thoughtful process undertaken in the development of H.R. 3309,” and express support for “the goal of H.R. 3309 to reduce abusive patent litigation and the corrosive impact it has on the U.S. patent system and the capacity of that system to foster innovation and economic competitiveness.”

The statement addresses several provisions of the bill intended to reduce abusive practices, including fee shifting, heightened pleading standards, increased transparency of patent ownership, and limitations on discovery.

The associations caution, “Although each of these provisions, if appropriately balanced and circumscribed, could help achieve the goal of reducing abusive litigation practices, their overbroad scope as written raises the specter of unintended problems and thereby raises particular concerns for universities.”

H.R. 3309 was the subject of an Oct. 29 hearing of the House Judiciary Committee [see Washington Highlights, Oct. 31]. The Judiciary Committee is expected to begin to mark up the bill on Nov. 20.

Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Nov. 14 held its own hearing on The Impact of Patent Assertion Entities on Innovation and the Economy, which was critical of so-called “patent trolls.”


Stephen Heinig
Director, Science Policy
Telephone: 202-828-0488

Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806