Text: H.R.5478 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (12/18/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 5478 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 5478

    To amend title 35, United States Code, restore patent rights to 
                   inventors, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           December 18, 2019

 Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois (for himself and Mr. Gosar) introduced 
    the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the 
                               Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To amend title 35, United States Code, restore patent rights to 
                   inventors, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Inventor Rights Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Inventors have contributed significantly to innovation 
        in the United States and their continued dedication to 
        inventing and sharing solutions to modern technical challenges 
        is essential for the United States to maintain leadership in 
        the global economy.
            (2) Inventors, not employees or investors, are the source 
        of innovation intended by the Constitution (``securing to 
        inventors'') and the Patent Act ``(Whoever invents or discovers 
        . . . may obtain a patent therefore . . .)''.
            (3) Recent changes to patent laws and procedures and 
        Supreme Court decisions have adversely affected inventors such 
        that the promise of Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution of 
        ``securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right 
        to their discoveries'' is no longer attainable.
            (4) Inventors are denied the fundamental right to ``exclude 
        others'' by the Supreme Court's 2006 decision in eBay Inc. v. 
        MercExchange, LLC.
            (5) Inventors were stripped of the right to file suit in 
        their own judicial district by the Supreme Court's 2017 
        decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC.
            (6) Issued patents fail to secure to inventors their 
        exclusive rights because--
                    (A) the Patent Trial and Appeal Board institutes 
                trials in over 60 percent of cases and invalidates one 
                or more claims in over 80 percent of trials which reach 
                a final decision;
                    (B) many patents are subjected to multiple post 
                issuance reviews; or
                    (C) most inventors cannot afford the costs of 
                defending a patent challenged in a single post issuance 
                review, as these costs can reach hundreds of thousand 
                of dollars.
            (7) Infringement trials can cost tens of millions of 
        dollars and can take up to ten years to reach a final judgment 
        after all appeals, making legal relief unattainable for 
        inventors.
            (8) These obstacles have given rise to an ``efficient 
        infringement'' business model whereby large corporations 
        infringe patent rights held by inventors without concern for 
        any legal consequences.
            (9) Patent protection has led to patient cures, positive 
        changes to the standard of living for all people in the United 
        States, and improvements to the agricultural, 
        telecommunications, software, biotech, pharmaceutical and 
        electronics industries, among others.

SEC. 3. INVENTOR PROTECTIONS.

    (a) Inventor-Owned Patent.--Section 100 of title 35, United States 
Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(k) The term `inventor-owned patent' means a patent with respect 
to which the inventor of the invention claimed by the patent or an 
entity controlled by that inventor--
            ``(1) is the patentee; and
            ``(2) holds all substantial rights.''.
    (b) Inventor-Owned Patent Protections.--Chapter 32 of title 35, 
United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
section:
``Sec. 330. Inventor protections
    ``(a) Protection From Post Issuance Proceedings in the United 
States Patent and Trademark Office.--The United States Patent and 
Trademark Office shall not undertake a proceeding to reexamine, review, 
or otherwise make a determination about the validity of an inventor-
owned patent without the consent of the patentee.
    ``(b) Choice of Venue.--Any civil action for infringement of an 
inventor-owned patent or any action for a declaratory judgment that an 
inventor-owned patent is invalid or not infringed may be brought in a 
judicial district--
            ``(1) in accordance with section 1400(b) of title 28;
            ``(2) where the defendant has agreed or consented to be 
        sued in the instant action;
            ``(3) where an inventor named on the patent in suit 
        conducted research or development that led to the application 
        for the patent in suit;
            ``(4) where a party has a regular and established physical 
        facility that such party controls and operates, not primarily 
        for the purpose of creating venue, and has--
                    ``(A) engaged in management of significant research 
                and development of an invention claimed in a patent in 
                suit prior to the effective filing date of the patent;
                    ``(B) manufactured a tangible good that is alleged 
                to embody an invention claimed in a patent in suit; or
                    ``(C) implemented a manufacturing process for a 
                tangible good in which the process is alleged to embody 
                an invention claimed in a patent in suit; or
            ``(5) in the case of a foreign defendant that does not meet 
        the requirements of section 1400(b) of title 28, in accordance 
        with section 1391(c)(3) of such title.
    ``(c) Injunction.--
            ``(1) Presumption.--Upon a finding by a court of 
        infringement of an inventor-owned patent not proven invalid or 
        unenforceable, the court shall presume, respectively, that--
                    ``(A) further infringement of the patent would 
                cause irreparable injury; and
                    ``(B) remedies available at law are inadequate to 
                compensate for that injury.
            ``(2) Overcoming the presumption.--A presumption described 
        under subparagraphs (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) may be overcome 
        if the infringing party shows clear and convincing evidence 
        that the patentee would not be irreparably harmed by further 
        infringement of the patent, including evidence of unreasonable 
        delay by the patentee from the date on which the infringement 
        was known or reasonably could have been known to the patentee.
    ``(d) Recovery.--A patentee that asserts a claim for infringement 
of an inventor-owned patent in a civil action under subsection (a), 
(b), (c), (f), or (g) of section 271 may elect, at any time before 
final judgment is entered by the court, recovery under this subsection 
in lieu of damages under section 284. If an election for recovery under 
this subsection is made, the following provisions apply upon a finding 
of infringement:
            ``(1) Profit disgorgement.--The court shall award the 
        patentee the profits from the use made of the invention by the 
        infringer. In assessing profits the patentee shall be required 
        to prove only the infringer's revenues resulting from the 
        infringement; the infringer must prove all elements of cost or 
        deduction claimed.
            ``(2) Interest and costs.--The court shall award the 
        patentee the costs described under section 1920 of title 28.
            ``(3) Infringement found willful.--If the court finds the 
        infringement to be willful, the court may award the patentee 
        damages equal to no more than three times the amount of the 
        profits found in paragraph (1).
            ``(4) Attorneys fees.--The court shall award the patentee 
        any amount of their attorneys fees that exceeds 10 percent of 
        the amount of the profits and damages of paragraphs (1) to 
        (3).''.
    (c) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for 
chapter 32 of title 35, United States Code, is amended by adding at the 
end the following:

``330. Inventor protections.''.
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