Statement from the Developers Alliance on Needed Changes to the U.S. Patent System


Contact: Chris Grimm -


Statement from the Developers Alliance on Needed Changes to the U.S. Patent System

Washington, D.C. -- The following statement from Developers Alliance President and CEO Jake Ward was released ahead of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office oversight hearing in the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet on September 13.

“The hearing is an important step to ensure the developers who are on the front-lines of innovation and job creation have every tool at their disposal to defend themselves from patent trolls.

“While the PTO’s Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative has been a great initial step to curb abusive trolls, the recent findings of the Government Accountability Office at the behest of the House Judiciary Committee, indicate that the PTO can and should do more to ensure only valid patents are approved. Until patent examiners are appropriately incentivized to focus on the quality of patents they are reviewing over just the quantity, supervisors are empowered to scrutinize their examiners’ work, and there is a clear definition of patent quality, trolls will continue to feed off of overly broad patents that shouldn’t have been approved yet fuel abusive litigation against developers.  

“While reforms are still needed on issues like forum shopping, demand letters, and fee shifting, long lasting and fundamental commitments at  PTO to ensure patents are of the utmost quality will help ensure innovation and economic growth isn’t stunted by the threat of patent trolls.  

# # #

The Developers Alliance is the world’s leading advocate for software developers and the companies invested in their success. Alliance members include industry leaders in consumer, enterprise, industrial, and emerging software development, and a global network of more than 75,000 developers.