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Senator Charles Schumer Shows Leadership On Patent Abuse

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For years Senator Charles Schumer of New York has been a driving force in the battle to abolish low quality business method patents, the type that patent trolls regularly use to attack businesses with vexatious lawsuits. He authored Section 18 of the America Invents Act, which is known as the transitional program for covered business method patents.  The purpose of the program is to create an effective and fair post grant review for business method patents used in the “practice, administration, or management” of a financial product or service.

Senator Schumer tirelessly championed the implementation of this provision, weighing in with comments to the Patent Office’s rulemaking, reinforcing that it was “enacted for the dual purposes of improving patent quality and reducing meritless litigation of low quality business method patents.”

This week, Senator Schumer has announced his intention to strengthen the program, so that it will apply to all types of business method patents, to include more businesses, and would also make the program permanent. This is welcome news. As I have said in prior blog posts on the patent problem, it will take a number of initiatives to stamp out abusive patent litigation.  Senator Schumer’s approach is right on the money and will be a huge help in solving the patent troll problem.  We look forward to working with him and other members to get this important legislation passed as soon as possible.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Alan Schoenbaum.

Alan Schoenbaum is Special Counsel for Rackspace.

Prior to joining Rackspace in 2005, he was a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in San Antonio, Texas. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in corporate and securities law and mergers and acquisitions. Throughout his legal career he has represented public and private growth companies, venture capital funds and their portfolio companies. Alan received his B.A. in English and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.


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1 Comment

WOW! What a hero! Protecting the Big Banks from the evil little software developers. Hey, let’s give this guy a medal!

avatar Farrah Side on May 25, 2013 | Reply

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