While the Republicans and Democrats continue to become increasingly entrenched and divided on many issues there seems to be at least one common area they agree on, patent reform should be on the agenda in 2015. In separate statements, both Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R., Texas) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), members of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, have stated that they believe a bill on patent reform will pass next year.
The most likely starting point is the stalled Cornyn-Schumer Patent Reform compromise bill that was proposed last year but later withdrawn in the Senate even after passing the house. The key provisions in that bill included:
- A heightened standard for the information that needs to be included in a patent infringement complaint including increased transparency for patent ownership;
- Limited discovery prior to claim construction;
- Development of a core set of discovery and potentially shifting the burden of discovery fees and expenses;
- Potentially some form of fee shifting for the non-prevailing party;
- Heightened requirements for demand letters; and
- Increased requirements for willful infringement.