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.
Randy Landreneau, Founder
Independent Inventors of America