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Internet Association Files Comments With USPTO On PTAB And Patent Trolls

BECKERMAN: “Low-quality patents continue to fuel litigious patent trolls and undermine every part of our economy – from the growing technology sector to mom-and-pop retail shops.”


Washington, DC – Internet Association submitted comments today to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Procedural Reform Initiative. In the comments, Internet Association outlines why major changes are unnecessary at PTAB because the panel is effectively serving its purpose.

“Low-quality patents continue to fuel litigious patent trolls and undermine every part of our economy – from the growing technology sector to mom-and-pop retail shops,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of Internet Association. “Robust, effective post-grant review programs, including IPR, help ensure our intellectual property system is the worldwide gold standard. USPTO should be commended for its dedication to periodically reviewing PTAB procedures for effectiveness, but their own findings show there is no need for large scale, disruptive alterations to post-grant review at this time.”

The comments outline the ways in which PTAB benefits the patent system:

  • PTAB successfully implemented the America Invent Act’s plan to provide an effective and fair system for conducting challenges to patentability and this plan is ultimately more workable and flexible than expensive, drawn-out litigation.
  • PTAB preserves the rights of both patentees and challengers thanks to PTAB’s procedural and evidentiary standards, as well as the panel’s ability to prevent abusive actions.
  • PTAB is weeding out the worst of the worst patents. In addition to throwing out about half of all petitions and claims before trial:
    • Only 23 percent of the 4,563 IPR review petitions filed through March 2017 resulted in Final Decisions holding all instituted claims unpatentable.
    • Only 24 percent of 70,060 IPR petitions terminated through March 2017 were held unpatentable in a Final Written Decision.

From the comments: “The PTO has successfully implemented the congressional plan. Current PTAB proceedings provide an effective and fair mechanism for administrative review of the patentability of patent claims post-issuance. These proceedings are now an essential tool for addressing the assertion of low-quality patents and in improving general patent quality. The agency has implemented a mechanism for public challenges to patentability that is faster than inter partes reexamination, more flexible than the court system, and ultimately more workable and efficient for patent owners and patent challengers than any prior mechanism. Changes to PTAB procedures should not diminish that achievement. Indeed, any revision of PTAB procedures should be done cautiously and in view of this great success.”

To read the full comments, click here.