Latta Introduces New Patent Marking Legislation
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 12:00 AM
Recently, Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) introduced new legislation in response to the wave of patent marking lawsuits that have been filed since the Federal Circuit issued its decision in Forest Group v. Bon Tool, which increased possible damages for violations to potentially $500 per article (as opposed to $500 per violation). The legislation, H.R. 6352, the Patent Lawsuit Reform Act of 2010, would revert back to the standard that courts were applying prior to Bon Tool and violators of Section 292 of the Patent Act would be fined a single $500 fine if found guilty of false patent marking. The legislation will also require the individual bringing the false marking lawsuit to have suffered actual harm to have standing. Currently, any individual may bring a claim on behalf of the United States for false patent marking.
“Because of the Forest Group decision, this legislation is now needed to help companies fend off frivolous lawsuits and strengthen current law. During this time of economic uncertainty, companies should not have to worry about expending additional resources on lawsuits based on one court’s interpretation of current law,” Latta stated after introducing the legislation. The full text of the legislation is not yet available, but you may track the bill's progress and read the press release here.