Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Releases Anti-Patent Troll Bill
The legislative attack on patent trolls continued today, as Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced an anti-patent troll bill, the Patent Litigation Integrity Act. This legislation mandates the award of attorney’s fees to a prevailing party in a patent suit, “unless the court finds that the position and conduct of the non-prevailing party or parties were substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust.”
Hatch’s bill also allows a defendant to motion for a judge to require a plaintiff in a patent suit to “post a bond” that will cover legal fees of the defendant should the plaintiff not prevail. There are a number of interests a judge is required to balance in determining if such a bond will be allowed, including: the nature of the party alleging infringement, the business practices of the plaintiff, and the plaintiff’s demonstrated ability to cover the costs of litigation.
A one page summary is available here. This bill comes on the heels of yesterday’s hearing in the House Judiciary Committee regarding Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) comprehensive patent troll bill released last week.