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6 March 2015

Coons moves to slow patent debate

Democratic Senator Chris Coons looks to slow the speed of the Innovation Act being passed.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

Chris Coons, a Democratic Senator in the US, is attempting to slow the progress of a bill which 144 universities recently said could be damaging to tech transfer.

Drafted to counteract patent abuse by so-called patent trolls, universities have said that the broad changes to patent law could, in fact, have the reverse effect by increasing the resources a university would need to defend a patent. Under the new law, patents would be defended similar under laws similar to the English Rule, whereby the loser of a court battle would pay the winner’s legal costs.

The Innovation Act has already approved by the House of Representatives, but is yet to be passed by the US Senate. In a speech, Coons said that he fears that the bill is poorly crafted, and rushed through by members of Congress who may not be fully informed about the debate on patents.

In an interview after the speech, Coons said: "I am hopeful that members of my caucus and the Senate more broadly will take the time to dig into the real issues of patent litigation reform and listen to representatives from the university, venture capital, bio, and pharma communities from their home districts and states. I think it is important for members to understand the potentially far-reaching consequences of passing another round of patent reform, or patent litigation reform, so soon."

Coons has proposed reforms which could rein in patent trolling which have won support from universities and the life sciences sector. However, technology firms have said it wouldn’t do enough to prevent patent abuse.

Copyright Mawsonia Limited 2010. Please don´t cut articles from or the PDF and redistribute by email or post to the web without written permission.

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