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Internet Association and 11 Other Tech Organizations File Amicus Brief In Support of Inter Partes Review In Aqua Products Case

SLATER: “It’s no secret that poor quality patents are the patent troll’s weapon of choice against companies large and small.”


Washington, DC – Today, the Internet Association, along with the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Dell, Garmin, Intel, Red Hat, Samsung, SAP America, SAS Institute, The Software & Information Industry Association, Symmetry, and Vizio, filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the Aqua Products, Inc. case supporting the U.S. Patent Office’s (PTO) efforts to improve patent quality.


The Internet Association and the other amici defended the PTO’s inter partes review (IPR) process and its positive outcomes for the U.S. patent system. The IPR process was created as part of the 2011 America Invents Act (AIA) to help clear low quality patents from the patent system.


“It’s no secret that poor quality patents are the patent troll’s weapon of choice against companies large and small,” said Internet Association General Counsel Abigail Slater. “The PTO has taken a careful and fair approach to the IPR process, and the patent system has fewer bad patents as a result.”


The amicus brief asks the Federal Circuit to hold that the Patent Trial Appeals Board (PTAB) may place the burden of persuasion on the patent holder to demonstrate the patentability of proposed amended claims, and that the PTAB may sua sponte raise patentability challenges to such claims. These rules promote the Congressional intent behind the 2011 AIA, directing the PTO to consider the effect of its rules on “the economy” and “the integrity of the patent system.”


The brief states, “Poor-quality patents pose a major problem for amici and other American innovators, and we agree that new statutory tools to improve patent quality were (and are) urgently needed. The AIA created several such tools that Congress hoped would ‘establish a more efficient and streamlined patent system’ and ‘limit unnecessary and counterproductive litigation costs.’ Inter partes review represents an important part of Congress’s effort to combat poor-quality patents. It provides a relatively quick and cost-effective mechanism through which interested parties, like amici, can challenge and eliminate claims ‘that should not have issued.’”


For more information, please read the Internet Association blog post by Abigail Slater further explaining the importance of this case.


To read the full brief, click here.