“Patent trolls” (more neutrally labelled “patent-assertion entities”) are a big problem for software patents. In the House of Representatives, Representative Darrell Issa has promised to carry last year’s Innovation Act, which would reform patent litigation to keep a lid on allegedly out-of-control lawsuits targeting software That might change, according to a new report by Jay Nuttall of Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, who explains that “the patent trolls are coming to medtech.” In 2011, Congress reformed patents via the America Invents Act. It made significant changes to the patent system. However, what was most interesting was that different industries revealed different needs and expectations from patents. The Innovation Act is promoted as completing work left undone by the 2011 Act. However, only
the software industry is very concerned about the issue. The pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical-device industries are usually wary of big changes to patent legislation that they generally believe has accommodated their innovations pretty well. Meghana Kheshavan of MedCITY News discusses Nuttal’s report, and other sources who confirm that software-style litigation is coming to medical technology. Patent-litigation reform is a priority for the current Congress. The medtech industries need to ensure that they get a seat at the table.