Rep. Ted Deutch Introduces the End Anonymous Patents Act
Legislation Will Shine Light on Secretive Patent Practices
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee on the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, has introduced the End Anonymous Patents Act to bring much-needed transparency to our current patents system. H.R. 2024 would require any sales or transfers of patents to be disclosed to the Patent and Trade Office, along with a notice of the real party in interest filing by the purchasing entity. The same disclosure requirements would apply to new patents at the time they are awarded, and for currently held patents at the next scheduled maintenance fee payment. This legislation aims to curb abuses and inefficiencies that stem from the system’s current lack of transparency, such as the frequent use of shell companies by patent trolls to disguise ownership during litigation, or the difficulty potential licensees encounter trying to uncover the actual owners of patents.
“The process of uncovering the ultimate owner of a patent can be truly burdensome,” said Congressman Ted Deutch. “During my career in real estate law, I would have found it appalling if the title for property was obscured from the public instead being of up-to-date and easily searchable. Patent trolls go to great lengths to conceal the relevant ownership and interests involved. This total lack of transparency by people seeking to game the system unfairly disadvantages businesses honestly seeking to license patents and those targeted in frivolous lawsuits brought by trolls. The End Anonymous Patents Act will benefit our economy by putting an end to these secretive practices and establishing a more accountable and efficient patents system.”