Friday 18 February 2022

Small Claims Patent Courts Coming to the US Soon? RFPs and Comments Wanted.

The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) is working with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to essentially determine if the benefits of small claims patent courts outweigh the costs.  The ACUS website states:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is engaging ACUS to conduct an independent study of issues associated with and options for designing a small claims patent court. The resulting report, which will ultimately be submitted to Congress, will address, among other topics, whether there is need for a small claims patent court, the feasibility and potential structure of such a court, and the relevant legal, policy, and practical considerations in establishing a small claims court.

The ACUS is accepting comments, here. 

The Request for Proposals document for consultants to work with the ACUS states:

Since at least the late 1980s, concerns have been raised that the high cost of patent litigation deters small- and medium-sized enterprises, particularly those owned by traditionally underrepresented groups, from seeking patent protection enforcement. Policymakers, scholars, and organizations have studied whether a small-claims procedure is needed for resolving patent disputes. They have reached different conclusions and proposed different actions. . . .

[The report may discuss:] Whether there is need for a small claims patent court; • The operation and structure of similar small claims intellectual property tribunals in the United States and elsewhere; • The relevant laws that would govern the establishment of a small claims patent court, including the United States Constitution and applicable statutes and regulations; • The policy and practical considerations in establishing a small claims patent court; • The institutional placement, structure, and internal organization of a potential small claims patent court, including whether it should be established within the federal courts, as or within an Article I court, or as an administrative tribunal.

March 4, 2022, is the deadline for proposals.

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