Join Now

Utah Life Sciences News & Events

Tillis, Coons, Cotton, Hirono, and Scott Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Prevent the Chinese Communist Party from Stealing American Intellectual Property

March 15, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Rick Scott (R-FL) recently introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent China from stealing intellectual property from American companies through their corrupt court system.

For years, China has knowingly engaged in the ongoing theft of U.S. patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. Now, China seeks to bar the ability to litigate patent rights within the United States. Recently, Chinese courts have increasingly issued so-called “anti-suit injunctions,” which limit the ability of American companies to file or maintain claims related to patent infringement in U.S. courts or the International Trade Commission.

The Defending American Courts Act would impose meaningful disincentives for bad actors seeking to enforce such a foreign anti-suit injunction in the United States. It prohibits these bad actors from seeking review of the relevant patent at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and if they are found to have infringed the patent, the bill requires certain presumptions that make enhanced damages and attorney fees more likely. It would also require the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to perform a study of the harms resulting from these anti-suit injunctions.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to make Chinese courts the world arbiter of intellectual property must be stopped. Their attempt has one goal in mind: to steal U.S. inventions and technology. The use of so-called ‘anti-suit’ injunctions is an insult to American companies and the rule of law,” said Senator Tillis. “American companies have every right to challenge patent infringement from Chinese companies, and any effort by the Chinese courts to invalidate these challenges hurts American companies and workers. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to protect American innovation and the sovereignty of our court system.”

“American innovation, and a strong IP system to support it, are vital to advancing our economic and national security interests,” said Senator Coons. “The broad ‘anti-suit injunctions’ being issued by foreign powers harm U.S. companies, innovation, and the rule of law. The Defending American Courts Act will help protect critical patent rights and the sovereignty of U.S. tribunals, and I’m glad to partner with a bipartisan group of my colleagues to introduce this important bill.”

“We shouldn’t allow the Chinese Communist Party to use its corrupt courts to excuse the theft of American intellectual property,” said Senator Cotton. “Our bill will help protect U.S. innovation from these lawless “anti-suit injunctions”—a naked attempt to steal American IP.”

“The U.S. patent system has long been the engine that drives American leadership in innovation. But that system is under attack. Foreign courts are using so-called ‘anti-suit injunctions’ to strip American courts of their rightful power to enforce U.S. patents,” Sen. Hirono said. “The Defending American Courts Act would reclaim the jurisdiction of American courts by introducing strong disincentives for any person that seeks to enforce a foreign anti-suit injunction. In this way, U.S. patent holders can be confident that a U.S. court will rule on their U.S. patents.”

“We know Communist China steals American technology and takes our trade secrets. If Chinese companies act in bad faith, they should be punished,” said Senator Rick Scott. “I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this legislation which will strengthen intellectual property protections in American courts and penalize foreign companies that try to shield themselves after hurting American innovators.”



Adam Webb (Tillis)

Will Baskin-Gerwitz (Coons)

James Arnold (Cotton)

Madeleine Russak (Hirono)

McKinley Lewis (Scott)