House Subcommittee Explores ‘Prior User Rights’ Under America Invents Act

Happening now: A congressional hearing on “Prior User Rights: Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing and Innovation.”

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet is exploring the issue of prior user rights as defined in the America Invents Act.

The subcommittee is chaired by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who represents Virginia’s 6th district. At the request of the Association of American Universities, U.Va. Innovation’s W. Mark Crowell provided Rep. Goodlatte’s office with input on the university perspective on this issue, which is being used throughout the hearing.

Watch the hearing, streaming live, here. More information and documentation on the hearing can be found here.

Update 10:26 a.m.: David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, defends AIA provisions for prior user rights as a “proper fit” with first-inventor-to-file system, balancing the needs of industry operating under trade secrets with the needs of the university community.

Update 11:12 a.m.: John Vaughn, executive vice president of the Association of American Universities, cites “early-stage, high-risk nature” of university research and proof-of-concept programs and calls on subcommittee not to add to this risk with expanded defense of prior user rights.

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