CUNA supports bipartisan Senate efforts to extend the Covered Business Method (CBM) review program at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it wrote to Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Tuesday. The Senators support efforts to extend the CBM program, which is scheduled to expire Sept. 15.
The CBM program was created by Congress in 2012 (part of the American Invents Act (AIA)) to help cut back on a large increase in business method patent litigation driven largely by Non-Practicing Entities asserting low-quality business method patents. The program allows the USPTO to review whether the patent in question should have been granted in the first place.
“The program has been working. A recent study by the Perryman Group found the AIA and its collective review programs have ‘saved U.S. jobs and helped drive substantial economic gains over the past decade’ including an estimated $2.95 billion in GDP growth between 2014-2019,’” the letter reads. “Compared to other court proceedings, the USPTO provides a process which takes less time to reach a decision, costs less to use and operate, and leverages a pool of over 200 judges with specialized patent experience.”
The letter also cites recent data referenced by the Government Accountability Office that some patent owners are waiting for the CBM to expire to assert patents.
“Specifically, data shows that NPEs have begun rapidly stockpiling business method patents; secondary market activity is up 12.6% and the number of patents sold is up 69% (Q1 2020 v. Q1 2019),” the letter reads. “If these patents are asserted without the CBM program in place, the end result will be a tax on our economy at a time when many of our members are fighting to recover from the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”