Patent Reform Act of 2007 to Put Brakes on Frivolous Patents

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Recently, the Patent Reform Act of 2007 was approved by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. It closely tracks a similar bill passed by the Senate Committee last week. This acquires added significance in light of the fact that numerous companies had put forward a series of complaints concerning an increase in the number of frivolous patents in recent years.

Sen. Patrick Leahy informed that infringement damages would be limited, “unless the claimant shows that the patent’s specific contribution over the prior art is the predominant basis for market demand for an infringing product or process.” The bill calls for an intervening time period during which a newly-issued patent could be put under the spotlight and be analyzed by interested parties.

For the first time, the bill gives concerned parties and public opinion a handle to overturn bad decisions, which many feel have increased dramatically in recent times. But only time will now tell how effective the new law will be in restraining frivolous patents.

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