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.