Category Archives: Legislative Advocacy For Independent Inventors

We Have a Chance – 7/11/2015

Hello Friends,

Beating the Innovation Act (H.R.9) in the House was considered to be an impossible task. It passed a year and a half ago 325 to 91. When a bill like this comes back, the experts say it can’t be stopped. But Paul Morinville and I have ignored that viewpoint and forged ahead, win or die trying. And something interesting is happening. For anyone new to this fight, get informed about the fatal patent “reform” legislation we are fighting here and here.

According to an insider, there was a “very contentious” meeting Thursday where a number of Republicans objected to bringing the bill to the floor at this time. I don’t know who was at this hearing, but I’d bet money there is a direct connection to the 65 offices I met with in my last trip.

Thank you again to those of you who donated last time to get me to DC to fight for the rights of inventors. It is imperative that I go back now and use the momentum we have to turn as many offices our way as possible. To have any shot at beating this bill, we have to do everything we can right now. I can’t get back to DC without your help. If you are able to donate any amount, please go to US Inventor. If you have any questions about donating, contact me.

Most of the offices I meet with become allies or at least very doubtful about the legislation. But realize that there are more than 400 offices, and last time 325 voted for the bill. Those who voted for the bill last time don’t want to look like flip-floppers, so getting them to flip requires serious communication. And there are huge forces pushing hard against us.

There was a hearing this week with the new head of the Patent Office, Michelle Lee. I’ve known that Ms. Lee is a former executive of Google, but I didn’t realize that she was head of patents and patent strategy at Google! Google is the largest backer of this fatal legislation! It is important that we really confront what we are up against here. In addition to Ms. Lee, I’ve been told that there are over 20 former Google executives in the present administration. Add to this influence the hundreds of millions of dollars spent lobbying for this legislation.

But we are putting up a serious fight, and our efforts have definitely made an impact. We have momentum, and our best opportunity to beat this anti-patent effort is right now. Continue emailing and calling your Representatives and telling them you are against The Innovation Act, H.R.9. If you need data, see the papers here and here.

But whatever else you do, please get me, your warrior, back to DC. I promise you that every office I meet with will know that the narrative behind the legislation is false and that voting for the bill will do fatal harm to American inventors and American innovation. I will do everything I can to win this for us. If you can donate anything, go here. See you on the battlefield.

Sincerely,

Randy Landreneau, Founder

Independent Inventors of America

Keep Fighting, Inventors – 7/5/2015

Hello Friends,

Did you know that in the media of the Wright Brothers’ time, corporations said things about them that sounded just like what is being said about “patent trolls”? “They don’t even produce a product, why should we have to pay them?” Yes, certain corporations have been trying to weaken our rights for a long time, but the danger has never been anywhere near as great as it is now.

I have spent the last two weeks in Washington DC fighting for our rights. I couldn’t have done it without your donations to US Inventor. Anybody reading this who doesn’t know about the present danger to inventors’ rights, read this and this.

In the last two weeks, I met with 65 offices in the House of Representatives and I assure you that every single one is now more aware of the false narrative that is behind this legislation and the devastating potential consequences of passing the Innovation Act, H.R.9. But there are serious obstacles to overcome.

Most of you know that this same bill passed the House in a landslide in December of 2013. Once a politician has voted one way on a bill, it is hard to change because they don’t want to be seen as “flip-floppers.” Of course, they were misled the first time and the environment totally changed last year.

It used to be that someone could bring a frivolous patent lawsuit, and an innocent defendant might settle rather than fight because of the low probability of winning back court costs (called a fee-reversal). A couple of Supreme Court decisions last year have totally changed this situation. Now, fee-reversals in frivolous cases are happening at a high rate. In 250 cases, there have been 50 instances of fee-reversal. This means that any party bringing a frivolous patent lawsuit faces significant financial danger, as they should.

Since fee reversal is now happening at a high rate, there certainly is no justification for what is proposed in The Innovation Act, H.R.9: presumptive Loser-Pays. This means that if you sue someone for patent infringement and you don’t prevail, regardless of the merit of your case, you will be presumed to owe the infringer his court costs (which could exceed $1,000,000). To not have to pay, you will have to litigate further to prove that the points of your case were objectively reasonable. This means that every case will end up in a fight for fees and will cost more than the excessive amount it already does. But worse is the fact that your contingency attorney will have to be willing to go the extra mile, after losing, for no pay. This will make it much harder than it already is to even get representation and have any access to justice. This is only one of the many real-world unintended consequences of this terrible legislation.

In addition to the difficulty of getting Representatives to reverse their vote, large constituents are pushing very hard for this bill to be passed. One office I met with has Dell Computer as their largest constituent, and another has Ebay. We don’t stand much of a chance with offices like this. But the majority of the offices I met with are now either allies or doubtful enough about the bill that they could go against it.

The problem is that the leadership is trying to get the bill to a floor vote pretty fast. It was going to be this week, but now I’m hearing that it might be the week after. Increasing opposition could push it further. If it passes the House, we have to stop it in the Senate.

I’m not the only one fighting against the bill. Even though the universities and drug companies got big carve-outs (exclusion from some provisions), they are still making some noise. Also, others like the Innovation Alliance and Eagle Forum are there. I am coordinating with these groups to help maximize our efforts. But time is running out fast.

I need to get back to DC to continue the fight door to door. I know that some of you are in tough financial situations. I am in the same boat. But anyone reading this who can help get me back to DC will be doing what has to be done for us to maintain our rights as inventors. This is a crusade of inestimable importance. Failure is not an option. If you are able to donate any amount, go to US Inventor (a non-profit corporation). Your donations will do directly to getting me back in front of Representatives who will be voting on this bill, or Senators if we lose in the House.

Thank you for your support. I know you are all with me in this fight. We can and must win this battle.

Sincerely,

Randy Landreneau, Founder
Independent Inventors of America 

We Are Taking The Fight To Them – 6/28/15

Hello Friends,

First, thank you to those who have donated to the effort to keep the rights of inventors from being lost. Enough came in after my last email to allow me to be in Washington DC fighting for us for two weeks straight, last week and this upcoming week. I don’t yet know who the donors were, but I will be thanking you personally.

The timing is critical because there is an effort underway to bring The Innovation Act, H.R.9, to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible. For any new readers who aren’t aware of what this bill will do to our rights, see here and here. If you have questions, email me. Donations go to the non-profit corporation US Inventor, they are confidential, and they directly help me come to Washington DC and fight for the rights of the independent inventor. You can be a part of this crucial effort – go to US Inventor and look for the donate button in the top left. Any amount will help.

This last week, I met with 35 different House offices. I have to tell you, I mentioned this number to a few individuals who do this for a living and they were amazed at this quantity. I’m usually meeting with the key staff person handling this issue, but I did see my Representative, David Jolly, and he is one of our allies. Of the 35 offices I met with, 6 are definitely going against the bill, and it is likely that another 16 will go against it (especially if I work more on them). The rest are on the fence, but not lost, except possibly one whose biggest constituent is Dell Computer (a proponent of the bill). I’m leaving two papers with these offices, We’ve Been Googled and a new paper – The Innovation Act is Fatal to the American Innovation Ecosystem.

I’m going to do my best in the remaining week to move as many offices our direction as possible. I’m concentrating on the more conservative Republicans and new members who weren’t around in December of 2013 when this bill first passed in a landslide. Even though those who voted for it the first time were misinformed, getting a Representative to vote against a bill he or she voted for earlier is difficult. Helping our argument is the fact that there has been a major change in the environment that goes against a key alleged need for the legislation (see third paragraph down here).

Last time, the bill passed 325 to 91. A lot of “experts” have said that it isn’t possible to stop a bill that has had previous numbers like this. Paul Morinville and I decided to disagree with the “experts.” It is still a major David vs. Goliath battle, but we now have some notable allies on both sides of the aisle.

For Republicans, it is becoming known that there is growing Conservative opposition to The Innovation Act. The American Conservative Union, Heritage Action, and the Eagle Forum are all on our side. Presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum are big allies. And Ted Cruz took our side in the Senate, opposing the sister bill in the Senate (The Patent Act), sponsored by Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

For Democrats, the top Democrat in the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, came out very strongly against The Innovation Act. Also, a Democrat who will be running for the Senate in Chuck Grassley’s Iowa has just posted a great article on IP Watchdog (see it here). With some luck, inventors’ rights may become an issue in the upcoming Presidential race.

We are definitely still in great danger. I need all of you to continue to call and email your Representatives (find them here). For Republicans, use the information above and talk about Constitution, property rights, and the capitalization of patent-related small businesses. For Democrats, talk about how this bill enables large corporation to crush the little guy.

We’ve made it this far. If we can raise enough opposition in the next week, we could delay the floor vote. With more time, we can win this battle. Also, if you are able to, help get me back to DC to continue the office to office battle – donate here.

Sincerely,

Randy Landreneau, Founder

Independent Inventors of America