On Wednesday, Senator Coon—of 101 hearings fame—and five co-sponsors introduced the Stronger Patents Act in the Senate (“Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience”). About 22 of the bill’s 40 pages involve amendments to IPR, PGR and ex parte rexamination that limit appeals and clarify overlapping court and PTO actions. These provisions have been ably summarized by Joshua Rich in a post at PatentDocs, but there are other interesting amendments to 35 U.S.C. so I thought I would start toward the last half of the bill.
Section 106 of the bill, entitled “Restoration of Patents as Property Rights,” amends section 283 to require that a court that finds infringement to presume that further infringement would cause irreparable injury and that remedies available at law are inadequate to compensate for that injury. These are the circumstances that encourage the court to issue an injunction against the infringer.
Section 42 of 35 U.S.C. would be amended to end USPTO fee diversion into the general fund by providing that any fees collectable by the Director shall be “available to the Director” and used to operate the PTO. Remaining unobligated funds are to be maintained in the “USPTO Innovation Promotion Account.”