The bipartisan Innovation Act is the best bill yet when it comes to fighting patent trolls. This post is the sixth of a series explaining the bill’s various provisions. While the Innovation Act won't fix every problem with the patent system, it includes a powerful set of proposed reforms that—taken together—will significantly reduce the threat of abusive patent trolls.
Join us in supporting the Innovation Act. Take action and contact your member of Congress now.
UPDATE Nov. 21, 2013: The current version of the Innovation Act does not expand Covered Business Method Review. We are disappointed by this change, but the bill does still contain a provision to investigate the effectiveness of the current program. We are hopeful that the resulting information may lead to an expanded program. Also, expanded review is still alive in the Senate.
Covered Business Method Review
The "Covered Business Method Review" (CBM) was first introduced in 2011's America Invents Act. It created, for a limited time, an additional avenue of patent review at the Patent Office. Unfortunately, as drafted, it really was only intended to apply to patents that deal with financial institutions.
CBM is a good program. First, we have long favored the use of Patent Office procedure to challenge patents; it is much cheaper and much quicker than going to court. Second, it allows for more ways to challenge patents than other types of Patent Office review—making it a more robust procedure that promises to knock out more improvidently granted patents. Third, it automatically puts concurrent patent litigation between the parties on hold.
Putting ongoing litigation on hold is no small thing. Patent litigation often costs each side well into the millions of dollars, while CBMs cost just a fraction of that. This means that more people will be in a position to challenge bad patents and fight back against the trolls who wield those patents.
Posts in this series:
Part Three: Ending Discovery Abuse
Part Five: Customer Suit Excpetion