In this corner - Coalition for Patent Fairness (CPF):
In a letter dated October 24, the CPF wrote to Senate leaders, expressing their support for S. 1145:
Supporters of patent reform and the Coalition for Patent Fairness, an alliance of large and small businesses and associations in the technology, financial services, energy, chemical, manufacturing and media industries, wish to express our strong support for S. 1145, the Patent Reform Act of 2007. This bill will stimulate American innovation, growth and competitiveness by restoring balance to our patent system. In the end, it will benefit all American workers and American consumers.Read/download the CPF letter here (link)* * *Now, after years of study and compromise; of calls to action and careful examination; of a steady drain on our economy and innovation; the time has come to act. With the U.S. House and the Senate Judiciary Committee having passed their respective versions of the Patent Reform Act, we urge the Senate to stand up for America’s leading innovators, consumers and workers, and pass the Patent Reform Act of 2007
by the end of the year.
And in THIS corner - 430 other companies:
A letter was also written the day before (October 23) by a collection of more than 430 companies, opposing S. 1145:
While we welcome efforts to make improvements to the U.S. patent system, we must make clear our opposition to S. 1145 as approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill contains provisions that will create uncertainty and weaken the enforceability of validly issued patents. Some of the proposed reform provisions, such as an expanded apportionment of damages, an indefinite post-grant oppositionRead/download the letter here (link)
process, excessive venue restrictions, burdensome and expensive mandatory search requirements, and unworkable interlocutory appeal provisions, pose serious negative consequences for continued innovation and American technological leadership in a competitive global economy. In addition, the bill codifies the current inequitable conduct doctrine rather than to make broadly supported reforms to eliminate litigation abuse of the doctrine and gain increases in patent quality.
No compelling case has been made for a bill written in this fashion. It is based on claims of a crisis in the current patent system that does not exist, supported by selective assertions which do not hold up under scrutiny. Importantly, the bill fails to take into account the impact of numerous court decisions and administrative rules that have occurred recently regarding major patent issues. We believe the authors of the legislation must make fundamental changes to the legislation if it is to work for all American innovators, and we urge you not to consider the bill on the Senate floor unless such changes are made.
An anonymous reader of these letters provided some additional comments to the 271 Patent Blog:
• The opposition letter has over 3 times the number of signatories, compared to the CPF list.
The opposition letter also has more than twice as many states represented.
• The opposition letter has a greater representation of startups and small business relative to
the large entities, where the CPF letter represents almost entirely large businesses and/or companies that do not actively utilize patents (aside from B2B transactions between large companies and other large companies).
• Aside from the tech giants, many of the CPF companies have very small utility patent portfolios relative to their size (ranging between 1 and 17 patents; notably Google only has 61 issued patents, and 51 published applications, per the USPTO’s database). Many other companies have no patents at all.