Anti-Patent Forces are Gathering 12/3/2014

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. We definitely had a big victory earlier this year when we derailed the fatal “patent reform” legislation. In my last email to you, I said that the war was still looming. Well, we will be facing another big fight very soon.

The anti-patent propaganda is starting to really heat up. The narrative is the same as before – alleged “patent trolls” are causing an explosion of frivolous patent litigation that is costing good companies and America billions of dollars.

As you know from my earlier emails, there has NOT been an explosion of patent litigation. The appearance of an increase is due to a procedural change enacted by the America Invents Act, wherein a bunch of similar infringers that used to be able to be sued in a single case now have to be sued separately. There has not been an increase in the number of plaintiffs and defendants.  Some very notable authors have researched and proven this, but the propaganda continues nevertheless.

As far as alleged “patent trolls” bringing frivolous patent suits, research has shown that non-practicing entities (NPEs) have a higher rate of success in patent litigation than other litigants. This indicates that their suits are not so frivolous. Furthermore, remember that the Supreme Court had a decision earlier this year that makes it much easier for a judge to award fees in an actual frivolous patent lawsuit. Honestly, if frivolous lawsuits were really the problem, this decision should handle anyone’s concerns.  But again, the propaganda continues.

And then, there is the demand letter issue. If someone is infringing your patent, you send a demand letter to try to handle the situation without going to court. While there may be some questionable cases involving demand letters, the situation is nowhere near as bad as the propaganda suggests. I don’t think any of us would object to reasonable guidelines for demand letters, and there was even some legislation proposed specifically for this. But, it went nowhere, because the anti-patent folks have much bigger plans, and these plans are fatal to independent invention.

According to US Patent System historian Zorina Kahn, efforts to weaken and even abolish the American Patent System go as far back as the mid-1800s. It is all very logical. A new technology is created, an industry is formed, and there are lots of lawsuits early on. Those being sued for patent infringement tend to be the large companies that also have political influence. They use that influence to try to weaken the Patent System. This is an ongoing pattern.

The difference now is that those who want to weaken the American Patent System have gotten much better at using public relations, propaganda, and lobbying. If what passed the US House had also been passed by the Senate earlier this year, it would now be virtually impossible for any of us to defend a patent against a large corporation. But it didn’t pass the Senate because we succeeded in stopping it.

Paul Morinville and I are looking into ways to effectively fight the upcoming battle. I’ll keep you updated on what we are doing and what you can do. But there are others fighting on the side of the independent inventor. One such group has a documentary that will play in locations across the country on December 15th. The documentary is Inventing to Nowhere, and you can find out about it here: https://www.tugg.com/titles/save-the-inventor . You should definitely make plans to see Inventing to Nowhere on December 15th.

I’ll let you know when I have more information to share with you.

Best,

Randy Landreneau, Founder

Independent Inventors of America

New Anti-Inventor Bill Coming – 1/29/15

Hello Friends,

I am writing now because another serious effort to eliminate your rights as an inventor is underway, and the first salvo is expected in the upcoming week. Please read the following and get it out to everyone you know who cares about America.

You may remember that in December of 2013, the US House of Representatives passed the Innovation Act. This happened very fast, with very little discussion. There were a number of provisions fatal to independent inventors, like Loser Pays (if you sued a corporation for patent infringement and did not prevail, you would be liable for their legal costs, which could be over $1,000,000). The Innovation Act also had the provision that an investor with an interest in your patent would be personally liable for these legal costs. This would have eliminated the ability to defend a patent for the vast majority of inventors, as well as greatly reducing any investment in patent related startups.

There were more fatal provisions, but realize that this actually passed the US House. It then went to the Senate and was moving quickly toward passage there. That was when I started going to Washington DC with another inventor, Paul Morinville. We ended up talking to the key people in about 60 Senators’ offices and royally upsetting an anti-patent propaganda luncheon where about 100 staffers ended up with our message.

Some other groups joined the fight, and the bill ended up being dropped. But you may recall that I told you it was not over.

I was in DC a couple weeks ago with Paul, and he is there now. Insiders are indicating that the House of Representatives is expected to come out with something very similar to the Innovation Act, if not identical, by next week.

This I all due to the greatly exaggerated “patent troll” narrative that a handful of high-tech companies are spending millions of dollars lobbying and pushing. Many of our congressmen are only hearing this message.

It is imperative that every one of us contact our Representatives before the new bill hits the floor. Tell them that you are against further weakening of patent rights. Tell them that the America Invents Act, which passed in 2011, is having a terrible effect on patent holders and innovation in America – Post Grant Opposition procedures are invalidating 75% of patents they are directed at! Tell them that current efforts at “patent reform” will hurt inventors and innovation in America.

Thank you for your help in this effort.

Best,

Randy Landreneau, Founder

Independent Inventors of America

We Won This Round! 5/22/14

Hello Friends,

Time to celebrate! Senator Patrick Leahy announced yesterday that patent reform was being tabled due to lack of consensus and that it is being removed from the Judiciary Committee calendar. This is what we were going for, and I thank all of you for your  help in achieving this. It is still possible in America to win a David vs. Goliath battle.

Longer term, we need to all be very aware that the large vested interests that almost got this legislation through are not going away. They have invested huge amounts of money in this fight, and real innovators backed by a strong patent system will always be a threat to them.

We won this key battle, but the war is ongoing. We must be vigilant and ready for the next fight. Vigilance and the willingness to fight for inventor rights was what won this battle, and what will be needed for the battles that will come.

The next serious threat to us is the unprecedented invalidation of patents by the new “post issuance procedures” created by the America Invents Act (which passed in 2011). More on this soon.

Best,

Randy Landreneau, Founder
Independent Inventors of America



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