(March 3, 2015) Mark Leahey, President and CEO of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), issued a statement regarding the Support Technology and Research for Our Nation’s Growth (STRONG) Patents Act of 2015. According to the bill, the STRONG Patents Act aims to “strengthen the position of the United States as the world’s leading innovator by amending title 35, United States Code, to protect property rights of the inventors that grow the country’s economy.” The STRONG Patents Act was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. According to a press release by Senator Coons:
The STRONG Patents Act would strengthen and combat abuse by:
- Cracking down on abusive demand letters by empowering the Federal Trade Commission to target firms that abuse startups rather than invent anything;
- Ensuring that pleading standards for patent-infringement cases match the standards used for all other forms of civil actions, creating a significant barrier to frivolous lawsuits before any funds are spent on discovery;
- Eliminating fee diversion from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) so we can ensure that those who examine patents have adequate training and dependable funding;
- Ensuring balance in post-grant proceedings at the PTO, so that this expedited form of patent litigation is both fast and fair; and
- Analyzing the impact that our patent system has on small businesses, both from the perspective of startups reliant on patents and those small businesses facing allegations of infringement.