Washington, D.C. — On Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 2:00 p.m., the Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee will hold a hearing to review the Covered Business Method (CBM) patent program, which was designed to address the problem of low quality business method patents being used to harass and extort companies providing, or even just using, financial services such as processing online payments and other financial transactions.

In July 2014, the House Judiciary Committee requested that the GAO study and provide a report to Congress on the effectiveness of the CBM program, which is a temporary program created in the America Invents Act to allow the additional review of certain business method patentsGAO released their report earlier this week which will be central to any debate on the future of the CBM program.

The witnesses for Tuesday’s hearing are:

  • Mr. John Neumann, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • David Hale, Chief Privacy Officer & Deputy General Counsel, TD Ameritrade
  • Aaron Cooper, Vice President, Global Policy, BSA | The Software Alliance

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) issued the following statements in advance of this hearing.

Chairman Goodlatte: “Nearly seven years ago Congress passed and the President signed into law landmark legislation to restore fairness to our patent system.  Through the creation of the Covered Business Method program, the America Invents Act sought to reduce, among other things, low-quality patents issued by an overworked Patent Office.

“Next week the IP subcommittee will examine GAO’s recent report on the CBM program’s effectiveness as Congress reviews the program to determine if it should be renewed or reformed.”

Subcommittee Chairman Issa: “Bad patents are a drag on innovation and on our economy. In the America Invents Act, Congress provided the Patent and Trademark Office with a set of tools to help rid the system of low quality patents. One of those tools was the Covered Business Method program. I look forward to hearing from the GAO regarding their findings about the CBM program and whether Congress should consider extending it.”

This hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at judiciary.house.gov. Camera crews wishing to cover must be congressionally credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.

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