The first comprehensive anti-patent-troll bill was introduced last week, and yesterday it debuted to a mostly receptive hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. But lawmakers were divided on a part of the bill important to some would-be patent reformers: establishing a patent office review system for “covered business method” patents.
Other parts of the bill would create more transparency in patent ownership, make it easier for companies to recover legal fees after winning a patent case, and shift rules around discovery and disclosure during litigation. The bill would also allow suits against customers who are end-users of a technology to be stayed when the manufacturer gets involved.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the bill by describing “abusive patent litigation” as a “drag on the economy” and calling out several of the most notorious examples of patent trolling in the past few years. Lodsys, a patent-holder that has gone after iOS developers, was called out by name.