Intel pressing House to pass patent reform

Cleveland praised the Senate's recent passage of Judiciary Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyLawmakers brace for more coronavirus legislation after trillion bill Democrats seek to increase supplemental funding bill to 0 billion Five sticking points to a T coronavirus deal MORE's (D-Vt.) patent reform bill, calling the vote of 95-5 a good consensus.

Cleveland said several of the bill's provisions, including a switch to a first-to-file system rather than first-to-invent, and allowing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to keep its fees, are improvements.

However, he said Intel would like to see the House bill include a process known as an inter partes review, through which disputes over how patents are issued can be handled administratively rather than via litigation. Cleveland said the process would save tech firms millions on legal costs.


"We spend $125 million on patent litigation, oftentimes down in Texas. We fight and we fight hard," Cleveland said, noting Intel holds more than 46,000 patents in its portfolio.

"This is a drag on our ability to innovate. It is frivolous litigation and we're not the only ones that suffer from this; Microsoft and other tech companies suffer like we do."

On the topic of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke's replacement — Locke has been tabbed as the next U.S. Ambassador to China — Cleveland said the ideal candidate would be the chief executive of a multinational company that is focused on driving exports from U.S. firms.

"The better choice would be someone from the private sector," Cleveland said. "I think the White House gets this."