Yesterday Senators Coons, Durbin, and Hirono introduced the Support Technology and Research for Our Nation’s Growth (“STRONG”) Patents Act of 2015. As Sen. Coons explained in an op-ed, the STRONG Patents Act focuses on ensuring balance in post-grant proceedings at the PTO. To accomplish this, the legislation proposes taking several steps to revise post-grant challenges in favor of patentees. For example, the legislation would require petitioners in an IPR to prove invalidity by a higher, “clear and convincing evidence” standard. The legislation would also limit standing to file for an IPR to those “sued for infringement of the patent” or “charged with infringement under the patent,” and their privies and real parties in interest – much like the current standing requirement for CBM petitioners. The STRONG Patents Act comes less than a month after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte reintroduced the Innovation Act. Only time will tell whether this proposed legislation will create gridlock or serve as a negotiating tool as proposed patent legislation moves forward.
More details to come as we analyze the proposed legislation.