Statement by John Thorne, General Counsel of the High Tech Inventors Alliance In Response to Directo
Updated: May 4
WASHINGTON, October 23, 2018 - "At a speech before the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association, Director Iancu likened patent trolls to imaginary characters that were created to frighten innovators away. Unfortunately for legitimate American business and job creators of all sizes, patent trolls and the invalid patents they wield for their abusive tactics are a very unfortunate reality.
"Poor quality patents fueled much of the explosion in litigation from 2005 to its peak in 2015, when patent litigation increased fourfold. In 2012, through the America Invents Act, Congress created the Inter Partes Review (IPR) process to improve patent quality because it was so clear that the effect of low quality patents were not only draining resources from large and small companies and harming innovation, but the brunt of that increase was borne by the highly innovative U.S. high tech industry and brought by non-practicing entities (NPEs).
"NPE suits account for 90% of patent litigation involving high-tech products and services. But the IPR process along with the Supreme Court’s Alice decision have gone a long way to help level the playing field. The result is that since 2012, U.S. companies have increased their investment in research and development by almost $200 billion per year and venture capital funding has increased dramatically from 2012 to 2017.
"Improving patent quality actually works and we hope that addressing this problem will be a top priority of Director Iancu and the Patent and Trademark Office.”
The High Tech Inventors Alliance is comprised of eight technology companies: Adobe, Amazon, Cisco, Dell, Google, Intel, Oracle and Salesforce. These companies have over 447,000 employees in the United States, have invested $62.9 billion in research and development in the past year and hold a total of over 115,000 U.S. patents.
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