Patent litigation reform needed now

Microsoft joined nearly 400 companies and associations in calling upon the Senate Judiciary Committee to approve urgently needed patent litigation reform legislation. The Committee is working to forge a well-calibrated compromise aimed at curbing abusive litigation practices and strengthening our patent system. In any compromise there are always areas where one or more of the interested parties wish the outcome would go further, while others feel it might go too far. We certainly feel that way in some respects, but we also recognize that meaningful compromise on important measures, including fee-shifting, a path to discovery reform, and increased transparency, will provide new tools to fight frivolous lawsuits, while still protecting the patent rights of America’s innovators. We strongly believe it is important for this set of reforms to be enacted now.

Microsoft thanks Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley, and Senators Cornyn, Schumer, Lee, and Hatch for their leadership in advancing patent litigation reform legislation through Committee. Microsoft has consistently advocated for balanced reforms, from the America Invents Act to the House-passed Innovation Act, and we are pleased to support the Committee’s efforts. We urge the Committee to approve the emerging bipartisan compromise and to send meaningful patent litigation reform to the full Senate.

About the Author

Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

Horacio Gutiérrez is Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in charge of the Microsoft products and services group (PSG). In this role, he oversees the team that provides front-line legal support to all of Microsoft's engineering and marketing teams, including Devices and Studios, Applications, Services and Dynamics, Operating Systems, Cloud and Enterprise, and Marketing. Previously, Horacio led the worldwide intellectual property group, including the development, maintenance and enforcement of the company’s IP portfolio, inbound and outbound patent licensing, and IP legal and public policy strategy. Prior to his eight years leading the IP group, Mr. Gutiérrez was based in Paris, where he was Microsoft's associate general counsel for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mr. Gutiérrez started his career at Microsoft in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. at the company’s Latin American regional headquarters, where he was responsible for commercial and corporate matters for the region.