Monthly Archives: May 2015

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