House Committee Passes Innovation Act – Medical Device Group Expresses Opposition

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The Innovation Act (H.R. 9), a patent reform bill introduced this congressional session, received bipartisan support in a 24-8 positive vote by the House Judiciary Committee on June 11, 2015. The bill is now scheduled to proceed to the full House of Representatives for consideration. A press release announcing the vote stated that a goal of the Innovation Act is to address, for example, the following:

  • Targets Abusive Patent Litigation;
  • Protects the Patent System;
  • Increases Transparency;
  • Prevents Extortion;
  • Provides Greater Clarity;
  • Provides Small Business Education;
  • Places Reasonable Limits on Venue in Patent Cases; and
  • Reduces Unnecessary, Expensive Discovery.

A related bill, the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act (S. 1137), was also recently approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration by the Senate.

Prior to the vote in the House Judiciary Committee, the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) issued a statement opposing the Innovation Act.  The statement, made by MDMA President and CEO Mark Leahey, asserts that the Innovation Act “remains overly broad and would harm medical technology innovation and stifle the development of cures for patients who need them most.”  Specifically, Leahey’s statement claims the Innovation Act “would severely weaken the ability of small companies and the innovators behind them to attract early stage investment for their inventions and defend them against infringement.”

The MDMA has been critical of the Innovation Act in the past, including sending a letter addressing its concerns in April.  The group has also  supported another patent reform bill, the Support Technology and Research for Our Nation’s Growth (STRONG) Patents Act of 2015 (S. 632), in the Senate.

Christie Matthaei
Christie Matthaei is an associate in our Seattle office. Ms. Matthaei represents various clients in all aspects of intellectual property disputes, with a focus on patent litigation. Ms. Matthaei also counsels clients on pre-litigation matters, including analyzing patent infringement and validity. Ms. Matthaei earned her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, where she was a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Journal. During her time in law school, Ms. Matthaei interned for the White House, working in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to law school, Ms. Matthaei worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a chemical engineer on projects related to alternative energy and green chemicals. Ms. Matthaei obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington. Ms. Matthaei was a summer associate in 2010 and joined the firm as an associate in 2011.
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