The So Called “Innovation Act” Is the Worst Anti-Innovation Bill in American History
New York, N.Y. – December 6, 2013 – American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR), an industry group representing small patent owners – start-ups, R&D companies, universities and independent inventors – as well as patent practitioners, strongly condemns the passage of H.R. 3309, the so-called Innovation Act, by the House as the most anti-innovation and anti-inventor legislation in American history.
“Our Founding Fathers had the wisdom to lay the foundation of the American patent system in the U.S. Constitution,” said Dr. Alexander Poltorak, Founder and President of AIPR. “Today’s lawmakers had the ‘wisdom’ to erode this foundation!”
Under the guise of curbing litigation abuse by so-called patent trolls, H.R. 3309 is a get-out-of-jail-free-card for corporate infringers. In fact, corporate lobbyists crafted this bill with no input from inventors, universities or patent practitioners.
“This bill was rushed through the House without debate or deliberation, and without any input from the inventor community. It was shepherded through the corridors of Capitol Hill by high paid lobbyists for large corporations,” observed Dr. Poltorak. He concluded, “American democracy is the best democracy your money can buy!”
The centerpiece of this legislation is the fee-shifting provision, which requires the losing party to pay the prevailing party’s legal fees and expenses. To penalize inventors and small patent owners for attempting in good faith to enforce their patent rights is nothing short of closing the courthouse doors in their faces.
“The fee-shifting provision of this Bill is a shameless attempt to intimidate inventors and small patent owners – true American innovators – into submission,” said Dr. Poltorak. “It is thoroughly un-American and flies in the face of our tradition of equal access to justice for all.”
The purpose of the Innovation Act is very clear: to make it easier for large high tech corporations to infringe patents owned by universities, independent inventors, R&D companies and other small patent owners, and to make it more difficult for them to enforce their intellectual property rights.
“The result of H.R. 3309, should a similar bill pass in the Senate and be signed into law, will be to weaken and devalue U.S. Patents,” observed Alec Schibanoff, Executive Director of AIPR. “That means fewer inventors will be able to secure the financing needed to commercialize their new technologies, and that will result in fewer new business start-ups and, ultimately, fewer new jobs. With passage of this Bill by the House of Representatives, AIPR will take its fight to the U.S. Senate.”
What the U.S. Patent system really needs, but Congress lacks the will to do, is to provide full funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
“Patents are the currency of a knowledge based economy,” said Dr. Poltorak. “Devaluing this currency, which will be the inevitable result if this bill becomes law, will stifle innovation and cost American jobs.”
American Innovators for Patent Reform calls on every engineer, researcher and inventor, and every American citizen who values innovation, to write to his or her U.S. Senators urging them to stop eroding our patent system and to pass a real patent reform bill that would establish full funding of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.