Press Release ● Science and Technology
For Immediate Release: 
December 5, 2013
Contact Info: 

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act, which passed the House today:

I want to thank Rep. John Conyers, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Mel Watt, Ranking Member of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee, for offering their substitute amendment to the Innovation Act today.  While I would have preferred that the House adopt their amendment, I am supporting the Innovation Act because it is an important step that builds off of the reforms of the America Invents Act toward improving our patent litigation system.  It is not a perfect bill, and it does not address all of the deficiencies in the system, but it will make progress toward maintaining our global competitive edge and helping entrepreneurs create jobs for the middle class.

“Innovation is central to our American spirit of inventiveness and entrepreneurship, and we need to make sure that our patent system supports a robust culture of innovation.  The abuse of our patent system by some bad actors threatens a growing number of businesses and non-profits with frivolous lawsuits.  Such actions are causing a drag on our economy, especially harming the small firms and start-up companies that are responsible for a large share of new hiring.  This bill makes a number of significant reforms that will expose and restrain these bad actors, making it easier for innovators and manufacturers to do what they do best: grow jobs that pay well and lead to opportunities. 

“It is regrettable that the Rules Committee did not make in order the amendment offered by Reps. Watt, Nadler, and Jackson Lee, which would substantially improve this bill’s fee-shifting provision in a more balanced way and protect the discretion of judges on the matter of legal fees.  As reform advances, I will continue my strong support for its inclusion in any measure that reaches the President’s desk.”