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:
- 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.).
- 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).
- 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.
Randy Landreneau, Founder