Link to full text of the proposed Act.
The Patent Quality Improvement Act amends the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to remove the eight-year sunset provision with respect to the transitional post-grant review program available to review the validity of covered business method patents, thereby making the program permanent. It also expands the term "covered business method patent" to include a patent that claims a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of any enterprise, product, or service, except technological inventions. The current law limits the program to financial products or services.
In effect, the Act allows suits over "covered business method patents", which encompasses many software patents wielded by NPEs, to be taken out of court and fast-tracked through a USPTO review process. In cases where the patents are likely invalid, this may provide a faster and less expensive alternative to the litigation process.