I hope you are doing well. In my last email, I was (again) too optimistic. To win this fight, it will take a lot more than just finding proof of actual hidden efforts within the bills to help patent infringers. I found another one that nobody has been talking about.
To explain it, you first need to know about a very bad bill for us that passed in 2011 – The America Invents Act. One thing this bill did was change the American Patent System from First-to-Invent to First-to-File. One of the many arguments against this change was that, with First-to-File, a person who obtained information about an invention could file before the inventor and get the patent. Those for the bill said that the person filing for the patent would have to execute an oath or declaration that he was the inventor, which they claimed would help stop dishonest filers. Well, in The Innovation Act (Manager’s Amendment Version), on page 73, lines 10-13, the language that said the filer “shall execute” is changed to “may be required to execute” an oath or declaration. So, again, The Innovation Act will make it easier to steal intellectual property. This language is also in the Senate’s PATENT ACT, S.1137.
How much of a smoking gun do we need to end this thing? I am reminded of an ethically challenged Louisiana governor, Edwin Edwards, who got elected a number of times. The day before one successful election, he proclaimed to the press “the only way I can lose this election is to be caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.” Definitely let me know if you find out something along these lines regarding “patent reform.”
The forces behind the House’s Innovation Act, H.R.9 and the Senate’s PATENT Act, S.1137, are working hard. The recent propaganda articles in The Economist and Forbes are examples. But a positive note is what happened at Carly Fiorina’s Press Conference at the Iowa State Fair a week ago ( go here and watch 1:24 to 2:53). The guy “in the hat” who asked the question is none other than Paul Morinville – well done, Paul! Another ally is Heritage Action. Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and he said something about K Street lobbyists getting patent legislation passed that is against what Republicans were voted in for.
We’ve got allies, but our opponents are pushing hard. Behind the scenes, the drug companies are working hard to get enough of a carve-out that they can back the bill. If they do, we will have a much harder time stopping it.
The bottom line is that we have to keep fighting. Keep calling and emailing your Representatives and Senators. Get personal meetings with them when they are in town. A successful action has been going to the Town Hall meetings of your Rep and Senators and telling them publicly that you are against these bills. If he is a Republican, bring up property rights, Constitution, and the capitalization of small business. If he is a democrat, focus more on how these bills enable the large corporation to crush the little guy.
Don’t stop fighting. Also, I’ve been approached by a few individuals on this list who need some of the services I provide in design and prototyping. If you have any interest, here’s a short video.
Randy Landreneau, Founder
Independent Inventors of America