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Washington Highlights

House Passes “Anti-Troll” Patent Legislation

December 6, 2013— The House of Representatives Dec. 5 passed legislation to reform the patent litigation system by a 325-91 vote. Introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) would mitigate the ability of “non-practicing entities” or “patent trolls” to use patents as a means of merely suing manufacturers or otherwise extorting monetary settlements from productive companies.

The AAMC, in coalition with five higher education associations, expressed concern about the legislation in a Nov. 8 statement to the House Judiciary Committee [see Washington Highlights, Nov. 15]. The coalition expressed support for the goal of reducing abusive patent litigation and the impact it has on the capacity of our patent system to foster innovation and economic competitiveness, but cautioned that the overbroad scope of the bill raises the specter of unintended problems, especially for universities and independent inventors who may be discouraged from protecting legitimate patents.

A companion bill is under consideration in the Senate.

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