50 most influential people in IP 2022: MIP recognises Thom Tillis at the US Congress
Thom Tillis is a senator for North Carolina at the US Congress
The senator for North Carolina has had a busy year.
Thom Tillis co-sponsored the PTAB Reform Act, introduced the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act and saw his Interagency Patent Coordination and Improvement Act through the committee stage.
Tillis worked with his Senate colleagues Patrick Leahy and John Cornyn to get the PTAB Reform Act introduced. Together, the three managed to hit a decent middle ground between the needs of PTAB patent owners and petitioners.
The North Carolina senator was the first person to introduce legislation tackling the Section 101 framework in the US with his Patent Eligibility Restoration Act.
Patent owners, particularly those in life sciences and software, have long contended that the state of Section 101 – created by the Supreme Court in Mayo, Myriad and Alice – makes it very difficult to fairly obtain patents for certain key technologies.
And finally, Tillis saw the need to facilitate more co-operation between the USPTO and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is why he brought in the Patent Coordination and Improvement Act.
The act, if enacted, would compel the USPTO and FDA to communicate more on pharmaceutical patents, among other things.
The bill got wide support from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and is likely to go to the full Senate for a vote before the end of the year.