IP Litigators Examine Patent Legislation to Watch in 2020
Several patent law issues will likely get attention from the U.S. Congress in 2020. These issues include efforts to reduce drug prices by limiting pharmaceutical patents and overhauling the patent eligibility law according to IP litigation partners Scott McKeown and Matt Rizzolo (both of Washington, D.C.) in comments published in Law360 on Jan. 1.
U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Mayo and Alice restricted the type of inventions that are eligible for patents, and critics of those rulings have complained that they have resulted in too many patents being found invalid and vague, with ambiguous standards on what can be patented.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's intellectual property subcommittee, met for months with industry groups to draft legislation to overhaul the patent eligibility law. Crafting language that would clarify patent eligibility standards, and doing so in a way that could be embraced by both the pharmaceutical and technology industries, appears to be difficult. Scott explains that the effort was derailed because stakeholders could not come to a compromise.
In this U.S. election year, Matt expects new bills aimed at curbing drug prices, with many of them included components that would alter patent law, including by restricting the number of patents that could cover any one drug.