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HTIA Statement in Support of House Judiciary IP Subcommittee Hearing

The High Tech Inventors Alliance (HTIA) applauds Chairman Bob Goodlatte for focusing on how low-quality patents harm our patent system and stifle innovation, economic growth and American jobs. HTIA was formed so that our member companies have a strong voice when advocating for a healthy patent system. Our companies represent a big slice of the innovative world. They employ 447K employees, including many of the world’s best computer scientists and engineers. Their contributions in technology and commerce have transformed society in countless ways. They spent $63B on R&D last year, they hold 115K U.S. patents, and they have a collective market cap exceeding $1.75 trillion. In 2011, the America Invents Act created the Inter Partes Review (IPR) program, which has effectively helped to weed out bad patents from the system in a very cost effective manner. IPR strengthens the U.S. patent system by improving patent quality. It is a key reason that patent troll litigation dropped in 2016 compared to 2015. With this track record, diluting IPR at this time is both unnecessary and unwise. Similarly, Section 101 of the Patent Act has for more than one hundred years prevented patenting mere ideas. The doctrine of patent-eligible subject matter plays an important role in a healthy patent system by preventing patentees from taxing future technology developed by others and tying up concepts that should be free for all to use. For this reason, HTIA is firmly against abolishing Section 101. A healthy patent system requires improvements to patent quality, supporting the process Congress established for the Patent Office to weed out bad patents from the system, making patent litigation fair and efficient, and ensuring remedies that value patents fairly and support innovation.

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