The following is a joint statement by APLU and the Association of American Universities (AAU) on the PATENT Act (S. 1137) manager’s amendment.
“We thank the sponsors of the PATENT Act for adopting an inclusive process and for actively responding to concerns of the higher education community in drafting this legislation. We appreciate the sponsors’ careful consideration of the needed balance between addressing the costly and corrosive problem of abusive patent litigation and preserving the ability of all good-faith patent holders to enforce their patent rights.
“We appreciate the manager’s amendment’s positive changes to the bill’s fee shifting provision. We support the addition of explicit statements that the prevailing party bears the burden of demonstrating that it is entitled to an award of fees, and that undue financial hardship to an institution of higher education or a named inventor may qualify as a “special circumstance” that would make such an award unjust.
“We are encouraged by our ongoing productive discussions with the sponsors, other members of Congress, and stakeholders in working towards our shared goals of curbing abusive patent litigation and maintaining the strength of the U.S. patent system. We are optimistic that there will be further progress and look forward to continuing these positive discussions.”