Last Wednesday, it was announced that The Innovation Act (H.R.9) was not going to a floor vote till after the summer session. This was a huge win for us. But a day later, what appeared to be firm ground started to shift. (Any new readers can go here and here to get up to speed.)
Even though the delay had been announced, an insider informed us that Goodlatte was given the OK to take the bill to the floor if he could get the votes for it. And then I started getting indications that the huge forces on the other side were trying to revive H.R.9! A big hearing was announced for Monday (yesterday) with the top attorneys for Google, Cisco, General Motors, Linkedin, and others. Wow, the officiating in this game stinks!
I went back to DC yesterday to be at the meeting and fight for our rights. They used a bunch of propaganda and cherry-picked statistics, and high-level attorneys can be pretty convincing. I challenged them on the key points, and I wish I could tell you that they threw in the towel, but they didn’t. However, after the meeting, the attorney for GM came to me and told me he agreed with me regarding presumptive Loser-Pays.
It looks like these guys are in DC right now using all of their propaganda and influence to try to resurrect H.R.9. Having spent over $100,000,000 lobbying last year alone, they are not giving up. A hearing was just announced by the House Judiciary Committee for Thursday that will be put on by Michelle Lee, the head of the US Patent Office. Remember, Ms. Lee is the former Head of Patent Strategy at Google! You couldn’t make this up!
But here’s the good news. I took a closer look at a sentence in H.R.9 that looked like nothing, and found the smoking gun we need right now. Placed inconspicuously where nobody was looking, and written in a way that you’d have to do research to even know what it was talking about, is a legitimate smoking gun we can use to finally kill this bill! Amazingly, nobody on our side had realized what it was.
Without going into the details, in a certain type of patent infringement defense, it removes any penalty for knowingly using false claims. The guilty patent infringer can lie, cheat and steal with no penalty! It is sitting right there. And who knows how many other protections for intellectual property thieves there are hidden in this bill.
Paul Morinville and I are putting together a paper on this that we will use to definitively kill H.R.9. I’ll make it available when we have it. We will win this righteous battle!
Randy Landreneau, Founder