House Judiciary Committee to Hear Testimony from USPTO & Industry Reps

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will conduct a hearing on the "Innovation Act" (H.R. 9).  Scheduled speakers include USPTO Director Lee, general counsel for BIO, and other in-house counsel. As most know, the Innovation Act is a re-presentation of the "Goodlatte Draft" that shot through the House in the waning days of 2013 only to die a slow death on the Senate side in 2014. Given last month's introduction of a competing bill on the Senate side, and more bills promised from both houses, tomorrow will kick off a long and painful grind. Passage of anything substantial in 2015 is simply not happening. The last year of the Obama administration in 2016 will almost certainly present further political impediments.   

Of particular note among the in-house counsel is the Senior VP of intellectual property of Salesforce.com. Salesforce.com has had particular success employing the Covered Business Method (CBM) review option of the America Invents Act (AIA).  All too often speakers are drawn from an industry or organization that has completely ignored the AIA, but yet asks for new laws —strange concept.

Judging by the lineup, it is highly likely that the topic of the PTAB's use of BRI will come up, usefulness of CBM (one would hope), as well as the recent hedge fund abuses. Should make for an interesting hearing.