Friday, January 21, 2011, 8:17 AM

Representative Latta's Amendment to Change False Marking Statute Reintroduced

By: Jim Lennon
U.S. Congressman Robert Latta of Ohio has reintroduced his bill to amend the False Patent Marking Statute. See http://www.patentdocs.org/2011/01/rep-latta-reintroduces-false-marking-bill-in-the-house.html The Latta Amendment proposes to limit enforcement rights only to "[a] person who has suffered a competitive injury as a result of a violation of [the statute]" and to cap the total available recovery to "not more than $500 in damages ...." Id.

The former proposal is generally more popular than Latta's latter. An amendment proposal approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2010 was solely directed to limiting enforcement rights to competitors.

I recently spoke with newly elected Senator Chris Coons of Delaware about the latest proposed amendments to the False Patent Marking Statute. He indicated that the "competitive injury" limitation may be acceptable but the $500 total cap on damages would not. Senator Coons also acknowledged that amending the False Patent Marking Statute may have become a pawn in the larger political battle over the Patent Reform Legislation.

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