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Patent Litigation Debate: Is the Goodlatte Bill the Answer?

By Bradley W. Caldwell of Caldwell Cassady Curry PC

Bradley W. Caldwell is a principal at Caldwell Cassady & Curry. Caldwell Cassady & Curry is a firm of trial lawyers specializing in high stakes litigation that focuses on patent infringement and commercial litigation. They have tried and won some of the biggest verdicts in the past decade against the largest companies in the world.

Must a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch? You’d hope not. But because there are those who have engaged in abusive or suspect patent assertion practices, some members of Congress seem committed to punishing any company that would dare enforce its patent rights. Take, for example, Congressman Goodlatte’s Innovation Act (H.R. 3309), recently passed by the House of Representatives. Despite its name, the bill does little or nothing to promotion actual innovation, as it mostly just makes litigation slower and more expensive through arbitrary procedures untethered to the facts or tactics at play in any given case. To be sure, the House has stated noble goals for the bill; it just hasn’t proposed a well-tailored manner of addressing them.

Per Chairman Goodlatte’s own words, he is expecting H.R. 3309 to address “the use of weak or poorly-granted patents by so-called patent trolls to file numerous patent infringement lawsuits against American businesses with the hopes of securing a quick payday.” See Press Release, R. Goodlatte, Promoting Americ...

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