LES Statement on Tillis-Coons Proposal for Patent Eligibility Reform
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Licensing Executives Society Statement on
Tillis-Coons Proposal for Patent Eligibility Reform
Bill Would Restore Certainty, and Revitalize Incentives for Innovation
RESTON, VIRGINIA — June 5, 2019 — The Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. and Canada), Inc. commends Senators Tillis and Coons, and Representatives Collins, Johnson, and Stivers, in their proposed language for a bill to reform Section 101 of the Patent Act. This is sensible reform that will improve our patent system and further encourage innovation.
This draft legislation is an important step forward in restoring certainty to our patent system. The innovative American spirit has been supported and encouraged by a patent system designed and implemented to reward inventors by affording them an exclusive right to their inventions. A system that affords predictable and reliable legal protections to a vast array of products and processes improves the human condition, encourages the devotion of time and talent to their creation, and attracts investment in new industries and businesses.
Recently, the law of patent eligibility has been altered by judicial decisions confusing distinct legal principles of what constitutes the act of invention with what field of endeavor should be eligible for protection. Throughout much of its history, the U.S. patent system used patent eligibility as a crude filter merely to ensure that patent protection was properly limited by the Constitutional mandate to promote the progress of useful arts. As such, useful inventions were the touchstone of patent eligibility. Other sections of the law dealt with the merits of the particular claimed invention. The confusion of those distinct legal principles caused our patent system to suffer from increased uncertainty and diminished reliance, and our economy suffered from a corresponding reduction in investment.
Judicial decisions are necessarily ad hoc, born of specific facts giving rise to peculiar disputes. Precedent is a poor vehicle for policy. Congress is right to resume its rightful role in setting our nation’s patent policy by reiterating and restoring the traditional notion of patent eligibility as a broad and inclusive concept. In so doing, and in giving it the force and effect of law, Congress would further encourage innovation in wide-ranging and diverse fields of endeavor thereby bringing new products and processes into being for the benefit of all of humanity.
About Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. and Canada), Inc.:
Established in 1965, Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. and Canada), Inc. (LES) is a professional society of 2,500 members engaged in the creation, commercial development, and orderly transfer of intellectual property rights; protection and management of intellectual capital; and intellectual capital management standards development. LES members are accountants, business leaders, business model innovators, consultants, deal-makers, economists, engineers, IP valuation experts, lawyers, licensing executives, lobbyists, merger and acquisition experts, public policy leaders, scientists, strategic planners, supply chain managers, tax specialists, and technology transfer specialists. These members represent innovation-centered enterprises of all sizes and kinds—such as government laboratories, professional services firms, universities, operating companies, regulatory authorities, licensing specialty firms, and trade associations. LES is a member society of the Licensing Executives Society International, Inc. (LESI), which has 32 sister societies representing 8,000 members in 90 countries.www.lesusacanada.org
Download the press release here.