Don’t Weaken the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

Akin Gump public law and policy senior consultant and former Rep. Lamar Smith’s op-ed “Don’t Weaken the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act” has been published by Bloomberg Law.

Smith discusses how a bill before Congress, the Restoring America Invents Act (RAIA), would undermine the goals of the America Invents Act (AIA), which he, along with RAIA’s sponsor, Sen. Patrick Leahy, co-authored in 2011.

In Smith’s view, RAIA would encourage abuses from those who would use the AIA-created Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) proceedings “not as alternatives to litigation, but as tools to harass patent owners.”

Smith continues: “In the decade since the AIA took effect, the wording in the law to prevent that harassment has proved unequal to the task, and entire industries have emerged to perpetuate these abuses.

Unfortunately, a new bill introduced in September 2021 by Leahy, the Restoring the America Invents Act, contains provisions that would encourage these abuses.”

Smith then outlines how RAIA would add hurdles to the patent process and increase the cost of enforcing patents, as well as ensure that the PTAB would be “cemented” as a tool for litigation gamesmanship.

He concludes by stating, “The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act was intended to encourage fairness, not gamesmanship. It should remain that way. The system we designed can help keep America the strongest and most innovative economy in the world for a long time to come. We don’t need to weaken it.”

To read the full piece, click here.