The Senate Judiciary Committee had the markup today for The PATENT Act, S. 1137. This is where a bill gets finalized and passed out of the committee or defeated. If the committee passes it, it will go to the floor of the Senate to be debated and voted on.
The good news is that a new ally appeared – Ted Cruz (TX). He voted no, along with Senators Coons (DE), Durbin (IL), and Vitter (LA). Our four allies all made great arguments for our side and against the opposition.
Some of the other Senators really sounded like they were leaning our way, like Franken (MN), but in the end, didn’t. I know that some of you really worked on Franken, as did I, and it looks like we almost got him. Perhaps we can change his mind before the floor vote.
Before the bill was voted on, our allies presented a number of amendments. Most of the amendments involved having various parts of the bill not apply to inventors. The universities and drug companies are carved out, why not inventors? The arguments for these amendments were basically that, since the purpose of the legislation is to stop “patent trolls,” why should the harmful parts apply to actual inventors and small patent-related businesses that obviously are not “patent trolls.” The arguments were right on, but all of these amendments were shot down!
So, we lost 16 to 4. This is much worse than I expected, and I was a little shocked by it, but the war is not over. Some experienced folks thought we’d have only three allies, and they are somewhat encouraged. We are really going to have to up our game if we are going to stop this bill on the Senate floor.
I am regrouping. One thing for sure is that we must make more noise than we have. Our most vocal allies are those further to the right and left. Our issue will resonate with virtually every strong conservative or liberal you’ll ever run into. For the liberals, this bill allows the corporation to crush the little guy. For the conservatives, this bill goes against the Constitution, the capitalization of patent-related small businesses, and property rights.
Get our information out to people who should care. Two papers that are very good for this are here(House Bill) and here (Senate Bill). Whatever you have already done to help this fight, thank you. Special thanks to those CA inventors who helped me get to Feinstein’s Chief Counsel. Please look at what you can do now to help us win this fight. We cannot let our rights be stripped away.
Randy Landreneau, Founder