The Coalition for
21st Century Patent Reform
Protecting Innovation to Enhance American Competitiveness
WORKING TO PROMOTE AMERICAN INNOVATION
Our national economy was founded on the proposition that our government should "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
The Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform ("21C") was created in 2005 to support Congress and the Executive Branch in its effort to improve the United States patent system. 21C believes that the most effective way to strengthen our economy and create new jobs is to continue America's leadership in invention and innovation. Our patent system promotes the development of new technologies that spur growth and create jobs across the country. Creating and maintaining an efficient and effective patent system is essential to summon the creative genius of independent inventors, start-ups, universities and corporations to invent, develop, and commercialize new products that benefit society. Working closely with Congress, 21C was instrumental in achieving the passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act in 2011.
WHO WE ARE
The Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform (“21C”) is a diverse coalition of American companies who rely on patents to protect their inventions. 21C members develop and manufacture products protected by patents, license patents to and from others in furtherance of their business activities, and, when necessary, assert their patents against infringers and/or defend against patents asserted against them.
21C believes that a strong U.S. patent system is necessary for the health, prosperity, and long-term success of our country. The U.S. patent system, once the envy of the world, no longer compares favorably with systems in Europe and Asia which allow and encourage the patenting of broader subject matters, and in which injunctions are routinely available to encourage voluntary licensing and/or to stop infringement. 21C believes that bipartisan patent reform is needed to level the playing field with China and to protect our domestic manufacturers from foreign imitations of U.S. patented products.
Future U.S. innovation depends upon the willingness of private investors to continue to invest in and develop new inventions here. U.S. government sponsored research alone is simply not enough. Inventions made and patented elsewhere are unlikely to be manufactured in the U.S. and more likely to prevent U.S. products from successfully competing in foreign markets. If done right, U.S. patent reform will fuel the investment, economic development, and job growth that is needed to secure our country and return it to its traditional position as the world’s technological leader. With these objectives in mind, 21C proposes that Congress, the USPTO, and the courts focus their attentions on the following priorities:
Make needed changes to USPTO procedures to ensure that granted U.S. patents will enjoy quiet title throughout their statutory terms and will not be taken away from patent owners without due process of law. Such changes should include provisions to reduce serial or duplicate inter partes reviews (IPR), to deny IPR petitions based on the same or substantially same information previously considered by the USPTO or the district courts, and to ensure that all decisions of the PTAB will be effectively reviewed de novo by Article III judges.
Restore patent eligibility to its traditional, Constitutionally-appropriate scope by abrogating the judicially-created exceptions that now deny patent protection for inventions of processes, machines, manufactures and compositions of matter that have practical utilities, including but not limited to high quality inventions in the fields of diagnostics, biotechnology, and software.
Ensure that our patent system secures inventors exclusive rights to their inventions for limited periods of time by making injunctions available to stop patent infringement unless the grant of an injunction under the particular circumstances would be clearly contrary to the public interest.
Restore the right of patent owners to sue infringers in their home districts.
Overturn (a) the Supreme Court’s Lexmark decision to restore the right of U.S. manufacturers to use their U.S. patents to sue unlicensed foreign imports and (b) the Supreme Court’s Helsinn decision to require that prior art be limited to publicly accessible information, as the AIA intended.