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Independent Inventors of America was created to educate, inform and protect the independent inventor. The Founding Members are the heads of non-profit inventors groups nationwide. Right now, we face a serious threat. With the stated purpose of curtailing frivolous litigation, legislation is being pushed that will make it virtually impossible for an independent inventor to defend a patent against theft. This legislation will also drastically increase the risk when investing in patent-related start-ups. For more information, go to the “Papers” tab on this site. For an update on what is happening right now, see below.


Independent Inventors are Targeted - 5/26/2015

Hello Friends,

On June 4th, the showdown is scheduled which will decide whether or not the majority of American independent inventors could completely lose the ability to defend a patent or ever attract outside investment. If you aren’t aware of the legislation, go here and here.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent lobbying for this legislation. This is David vs. Godzilla. But if any of you are experiencing any loss of confidence in our ability to stop this tragedy, you need to consider our own history.

Did you know that only one third of American colonists were even for the American Revolution? Only one third! And a full third were against it. At Valley Forge, George Washington’s men were in rags and freezing to death because the states were not providing enough support. The men upon whom the future of America depended weren’t even provided warm clothing! Mutinies were personally stopped by Washington, who lost battles, but was never beaten. And, by the grace of God, this great nation was born.

One of the first things done in America was the creation of the unique American Patent System. The rights of inventors were actually written directly into the Constitution; the Bill of Rights was added later. In fact, the word “right” only appears in the Constitution with respect to the rights of inventors and authors.

While the rest of the world had patent systems that only allowed the participation of the rich and the powerful, America’s patent system gave incentive for anyone of any walk of life to create something new and valuable, own it, and profit from it. And it was this unique American Patent System that enabled America to become the source of so much more innovation and economic growth than the rest of the world.

Now, a handful of corporations are dangerously close to destroying these rights so they can reduce their patent infringement liabilities. This is outrageous! Even more outrageous is the fact that the politicians we elected are listening to hired gun lobbyists every day, but not a single inventor will be allowed into a single hearing regarding Senate’s PATENT Act before an effort to pass this bill out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 4th. The most recent hearing was made up of “those who love the bill and those who really love the bill,” according to Senator Durbin.

As recently as a few weeks ago, universities and drug companies were our allies in the fight. Now they have been shamefully carved-out – they are not subject to the worst provisions in The PATENT Act. This is how some politicians reduce opposition to bad bills.

You and I, my friends, are targeted for destruction. The politicians for the bills won’t say this, and I don’t which among them even realize this. Hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying and public relations Kool Aid has had its effect. But I assure you that the corporations behind the bills know exactly what they are doing – their crosshairs are deliberately centered on the heart of America.

Every one of us needs to be in this fight:

  1. I’m going back to DC on June 1st to work with our allies and turn more Senators our direction. I need more letters from inventors that describe how they have been harmed by the current state of our Patent System (patents infringed willfully, patents invalidated by post grant opposition procedures or abstract theory, attorneys unwilling to take cases, etc.).
  2. We must get our message out far and wide. Thank you Michele Nash-Hoff for your article in Industry Week ! We need to get this article and the papers here and here out to anyone that this information will matter to. Get these articles to conservative or liberal media or groups. For liberals, this legislation allows corporations to crush the little guy. For conservatives, this bill goes against the Constitution, property rights, and small business capitalization. Call it “the worst and most damaging legislation in American history” (which it is).
  3. Continue calling and emailing your Representatives and Senators (find them here). They are in their local offices this week – call them there. The fatal House bill is The Innovation Act, H.R.9. They are trying to jam it through their Judiciary also. The fatal Senate bill is The PATENT Act, S.1137 (for information, see House Bill and Senate Bill). These bills are fatal, but the Senate’s Strong Patents Act, S.632, is good for us (it makes the Post Grant Opposition Procedures operate more like Federal Court Procedures, eliminates fee diversion, and reins in abusive demand letters). Tell them you are against The Innovation Act and The PATENT Act, but for the Strong Patents Act, S.632.

This will be my 8th trip to DC this year. Paul Morinville and I went to 200 offices in the House, and this helped cause the Innovation Act to stall (“experts” expected it to fly through). We are kind of like the troops at Valley Forge – we really need some support and you can help at the US Inventor “Donate” button.

The only way we can head this thing off is to make as much noise as possible right now. Do not let your rights be taken without a fight.

Sincerely,

Randy Landreneau, Founder

Independent Inventors of America


We're Still In The Fight - 5/19/2015

Hello Friends,

We’re still in the fight, but we have punch ourselves out of a corner. I met with most of the Senate Judiciary offices last week, and we definitely have a few allies and potential allies. There are also some who are lost causes. Anybody reading this who doesn’t know about how inventors’ rights are close to being totally lost, go here and here.

The good news is that our voices are having an effect. The House and the Senate Judiciary Committees were both going to do their markups (pass a bill out of the Judiciary so it can go to the floor) this week and they have been postponed. I heard from a number of you last week, and your calls and emails to your Representatives and Senators are definitely helping. But our opposition is pulling out all the stops.

The Consumer Electronics Association and some anti-patent group called Engine is flying in lawyers and individuals associated with Kickstarter, Etsy, Meetup, Mapbox, and a few others. They will be doing their best to destroy our rights.

One of our allies is Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. His Counsel told me to get stories from our side that can be used to help our cause. If you know any inventor who has had a patent invalidated using one of the Post Grant Opposition procedures, get him or her in touch with me. The same goes for an “abstract idea” invalidation, or any negative outcome caused by the current weak patent system. For instance, I saw a letter to one inventor from a major attorney who explained that he couldn’t take the case because of how the tech companies have made defending a software patent almost impossible. Another good area is stories about being infringed and unable to defend your patent. If you have a story, get with me ASAP.

Our opposition is organized, funded, and relentless. They are throwing everything they have right now. Our only weapon is the truth, but a little truth can go a long way in this fight. We need to get the truth to as many Senate and Judiciary offices as possible right now (find your Representatives and Senators here).

Those of you who have already been doing this, thank you. I need you to keep doing it. Change the letter or the talk a little and do it again and again – you’ll probably get to a different person each time you call. Those of you who have been on the sidelines, we all need you in the game.

Remember, the universities, drug and GMO companies have gotten carved-out of the Senate’s PATENT Act, S.1137. So they will continue to have patent rights but independent inventors won’t. This is outrageous! There is an effort to amend the House’s Innovation Act, H.R.9 so that it is similar to the Senate bill, carve-outs and all. Without anybody else fighting on our side, we will be slaughtered unless we really get active. Every single inventor needs to get in the game. Get this email out as far and wide as you can.

Also, remember that there actually is one bill that is good for us – The Strong Patents Act, S.632. This one reins in the Post Grant Opposition Procedures so they won’t continue to invalidate 76% of patents they are directed at, addresses frivolous demand letters, and stops fee diversion. This bill helps us, but if the other bills pass, it won’t matter.

Tell your Representatives that The Innovation Act, H.R.9, and your Senators that the PATENT Act, S.1137 are fatal to independent inventors, early-stage investment, and American innovation, but that the Strong Patents Act, S.632 is a good bill. Also, it will help if you send them these documents (for Senators, for Representatives).

Sincerely,

Randy Landreneau, Founder

Independent Inventors of America


Our Very Existence is at Stake - 5/11/2015

Hello Friends,

I’m back on Capitol Hill fighting for inventor rights along with Paul Morinville and a new member of the team, Michael Norwood. I’ve been here four times in the last six weeks. Our very existence is at stake right now. For any readers who aren’t up on what is happening, read the papers here and here.

Earlier in the fight, I was more confident than I should have been, and I want to apologize if I gave you a false sense of our situation. The forces arrayed against us are massive, and the depths to which they are willing to sink have become obvious.

We were making headway in the House. We had met with the key people in close to 200 offices and had gotten enough of the real story out that opposition was growing. Universities and drug companies were fighting along with us.

Under The Innovation Act, a university could be liable for millions of dollars if patents created and licensed through university research were ever defended against infringement unsuccessfully. The university could be held liable for the legal costs of the infringer if the patent holder did not prevail in the patent infringement case – this is Loser Pays with Joinder (interested parties joined in the liability).

Rather than fly through the House as expected, the Innovation Act stalled. But then the Senate came out with its version, The PATENT Act, S.1137, which has carve-outs for universities, drug and GMO companies. CARVE-OUTS – these groups will not be affected by the worst provisions of the bill!

This is serious. Universities and drug companies are saying The PATENT Act isn’t that bad, but it is actually worse for us. There is now a requirement that a patent holder certify that he has the funds for the Loser Pays liability before he can sue for infringement (easily $1,000,000 plus). This will eliminate the ability of virtually every independent inventor to defend a patent. And, if an investor provides the funds, he will be personally liable for the Loser Pays (piercing the corporate veil and throwing away hundreds of years of corporate law).

Without universities and drug companies fighting with us, we are in big trouble. Whether or not we lose everything could depend on having large numbers of inventors calling and emailing their Congressmen. Now is the time that I really need you to fight along with me. Find your Representatives and Senators here.

Tell your Representatives that you are against The Innovation Act, H.R.9. Tell your Senators that you are against The PATENT Act, S.1137. If they are Democrats, say these bills allow corporations to crush the little guy. If they are Republicans, say that these bills eliminate property rights by inventors not being able to defend their patents, and drastically reduce investment in innovative small businesses. These bills are fatal to inventors and American innovation.

I hope you really get that it is crunch time. If you fight this with me this week, we might get through this. I will be here doing everything I can to create outrage at what is happening.

One more thing. Paul and I have almost gone totally broke in this effort. We would do it again, but we are running out of the ability to continue this fight in the way it needs to be waged. Paul has a “Donate” button at www.USInventor.org (top left), which is a non-profit (501(c)(4)). We need some support.

Best,

Randy Landreneau, Founder

Independent Inventors of America




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