Efforts are currently underway in both the House and Senate to address the issue of abusive patent litigation. As the industry that holds the most number of patents, manufacturers are the targets of many of these lawsuits. The NAM and our members agree: this practice needs to be stopped.
Intellectual property (IP) drives growth across the entire manufacturing ecosystem. From transportation, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, semiconductors, energy, consumer goods, to food and beverage – you name it – all manufacturing industry segments leverage their IP to help them compete in the global marketplace. When there is uncertainty in the protection of that IP or exposure to meritless lawsuits it hurts companies, their employees, and the overall competitiveness of those that manufacturer in the U.S.
Back in 2011, the NAM strongly supported the America Invents Act, a bill signed into law that is now helping to improve the patent application review system and therefore eliminate low-quality patents from being issued. However, filing of questionable lawsuits against patent holders unfortunately continues and more disincentives should be carefully crafted to target those who bring abusive suits. The NAM is pleased to see that Congress is aggressively going after those that abuse the litigation system and attempt to extort manufacturers.
Making the United States the best place in the world to innovate is a keystone of the NAM Growth Agenda. IP is the fuel of the manufacturing innovation engine. As a result, maintaining the ability of manufacturers to protect their IP without the threat of frivolous lawsuits is at the top of NAM’s policy priority list. We looking forward to working with Congress as the legislative process continues to move forward.