The 2006 SCOTUS decision in eBay reversed the
long-applied presumption of injunctions against adjudicated infringers
(trespassers) of intellectual property, citing the "problem" of non-practicing
entities (aka "trolls") who sought to collect rent on property that they were
not themselves developing. The 2011 America Invents Act (AIA) changed patent
entitlement from "first to invent" to "first inventor to file a patent
application" and established a new array of administrative attacks on issued
patents and other remedies for troll practices. Following White House, industry
and public outrage over "hold-ups" by trolls demanding tolls from retailers and
start-ups, H.3309, entitled the "Innovation Act" was reported out of the House
Judiciary Committee by a overwhelming bi-partisan vote notwithstanding caution by such organizations as the American Bar Association and the
American Intellectual Property Law Association that many of the anti-troll measures
were unnecessary and would hurt "legitimate" patent owners ("throwing the baby out .
. ."). The bill was rushed within ten days through bi-partisan
approval in the House and is in Senate Judiciary whose
chair has already applauded the bill.
The Innovation Act may be in place by the time of this brown bag roundtable.
In any case, Stephen Y. Chow, Partner, Burns & Levinson LLP, will provide
briefing of its provisions – which include a partial reversal of the "American
Rule" of litigants paying their own costs, restrictions on pleading and
discovery and further extensions of patent-opposer "rights" in the new