Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Congressman Ken Buck (CO-04) introduced the Promoting and Respecting Economically Vital American Innovation Leadership (PREVAIL) Act. This bipartisan, bicameral bill would make changes to the PTAB — the administrative body of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — to promote fair treatment of inventors, streamline patent disputes, and ensure the USPTO is incentivizing innovation and competition.
A Senate version of the PREVAIL Act was introduced by Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
“I’m proud to represent much of the Research Triangle, a world-renowned hub of innovation that drives American competitiveness,” said Congresswoman Ross. “The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), established through the America Invents Act (AIA) in 2012, is supposed to offer a more efficient and less expensive method for resolving patent disputes than district court litigation. However, in the decade since PTAB's creation, this venue has not always provided innovators and patent owners with the protections they were promised in the AIA. I’m proud to introduce the PREVAIL Act with Senator Coons, Senator Tillis, and Representative Buck to institute much-needed reforms to the PTAB and create a fairer system for inventors, researchers, and investors that supports our thriving innovation economy in North Carolina and beyond.”
The PREVAIL Act would reform the PTAB in the following ways:
- Require standing for PTAB challengers and limit repeated petitions challenging the same patent;
- Harmonize PTAB claim construction and burden of proof with federal district court;
- End duplicative patent challenges by requiring a party to choose between making its validity challenges before the PTAB or in district court; and
- Increase transparency by prohibiting the USPTO director from influencing PTAB panel decisions.
“To secure America's technological dominance and bolster our national security, we must update our patent process to ensure it is fair, transparent, and efficient,” said Congressman Buck. “The PREVAIL Act makes commonsense reforms to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) by safeguarding patents and removing duplicative legal proceedings, thereby encouraging American innovation.”
Bill text is available HERE.