2015, 2017, 2018, 2019…
The Stronger Patents Act just wont go away. While the bill has been introduced several times over the years, it has never gotten any significant traction. Since its initial introduction, several of the bill’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) provisions have been mooted by regulatory changes. What remains would effectively repeal the AIA to the point that the PTAB would no longer be a viable option — a non-starter for everyone but Bio/Pharma and small inventors.
So, what is different now?
Simply stated, the bill hasn’t really changed much at all. The sponsors may sense an opportunity for the STRONGER Patents Act to ride the coattails of current 101 momentum. But, more than likely this bill is serving as a foil to opponents of 101 change (i.e., Big Tech). Given the choice between the two, 101 reform is far more palatable to Big Tech.
Patent reform political theater will continue this summer with a draft 101 bill expected within the month. Stay tuned!
(For those interested in a deeper dive on some of the few changes of the STRONGER Patents Act of 2019, you can find a great summary (here)