White House backs House patent bill

The White House on Tuesday endorsed a House bill aimed at cracking down on frivolous patent lawsuits.

The House is expected to vote this week on the Innovation Act, which is authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

"The bill would improve incentives for future innovation while protecting the overall integrity of the patent system," the Obama administration said in a statement.

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The bill aims to cut down on abusive patent lawsuits by requiring companies bringing those lawsuits to be more transparent about their financial backing and limiting the burdens they can impose on the companies being sued. The bill would require losing parties to pay the winning parties’ legal fees except in special circumstances.

Although the White House said it "supports House passage" of the bill, it expressed expressed concern about whether the bill gives enough leeway to judges. 

"The Administration supports the effort to discourage abusive court filings, but hopes that, as final legislation is crafted, appropriate recognition is given to the importance of judicial discretion in balancing competing interests," the White House said. "Finally, the Administration continues to have concerns about the bill’s provisions on post-issuance review proceedings, including those pertaining to patent claim construction."

The White House said it also hopes to see additional provisions related to patent ownership and the letters that firms send demanding patent settlements.