Bad Faith Assertions of Patent Infringement

Last updated: Apr 18, 2014

Details about this bill
Category: General Business
Status: Passed
Sponsor: Senator Anne Haskell, Senate 9 - Penobscot County
Session: 126
Bill #: LD 1660

Position:

Support.

UPDATE 4/8/14: The Senate passed the majority Ought to Pass as Amended report under the hammer. However, the bill hit a roadblock in the House where they objected to the pharmaceutical amendment added to the bill. Instead, they passed the minority Ought to Pass report leaving the two bodies in non-concurrence. When the Senate took the bill back up, they insisted on their report and after a few days of being tabled, the House finally receded and concurred with the Senate. The bill now awaits action by Governor LePage. If it gets passed, this will be a nice victory for retailers.

UPDATE 3/9/14: After initially receiving a strong Ought to Pass vote from the committee, the committee reconsidered the bill this past week after pressure from the pharmaceutical industry. The industry presented some amended language that was ultimately accepted by a 5-2 vote. The minority report is straight Ought to Pass so the bill currently carries two versions of Ought to Pass. It is also worth noting that during the reconsideration discussion, there was a comment made that the Governor had reservations about the bill as drafted and the potential veto threat may have had an influence as well.

Summary:

This bill authorizes a person against whom a bad faith assertion of patent infringement has been made to bring a civil action in Superior Court for equitable relief, damages, court costs and fees and punitive damages.  It authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action and it provides that a bad faith assertion of patent infringement is a violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.