FTC Commissioner pushes Congress on patents

Federal Trade Commission Julie Brill does not want Congress to wait on her agency before reforming patent litigation.

During a Wednesday address at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Democratic commissioner said that Congress should continue moving forward with patent litigation reform, independent of the FTC’s forthcoming report on patents.

{mosads}FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez announced last year that the agency would investigate Patent Assertion Entities, or companies that enforce patents without implementing those patents to manufacture products.

“We anticipate that, as in the past, our study, once it is done, will be put to good use by Congress and others who examine closely the activities of [Patent Assertion Entities],” Brill said in prepared remarks for Wednesday’s address.

In the meantime, Congress should continue working with patent reform, she continued.

Last year, the House passed the Innovation Act, authored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering legislation from Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

“With regard to the legislation under consideration, various provisions in the bills may help to discourage frivolous lawsuits and improve patent quality, actions the FTC has long encouraged,” Brill said. 

“I believe Congress should act with deliberate speed to implement those proposed reforms that will further these goals.”

Brill also discussed low-quality software patents, which have become a contentious issue in the patent reform debate.

Tags Bob Goodlatte Federal Trade Commission Julie Brill Patent Software patent

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