American Innovators for Patent Reform Calls on All Members and Supporters to Call Their Representatives
New York, N.Y. – June 23, 2011 - The Conyers - Sensenbrenner - Manzullo amendment to H.R. 1249 (a.k.a. the “America Invents Act”) that would have ended fee diversion and established full funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was excluded from the list of the amendments allowed for debate on the House floor. With the defeat of this amendment, American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR) urges all members and supporters to call their Representatives today asking them to vote "No" when H.R. 1249 comes to the floor this afternoon.
While AIPR did not support H.R. 1249, the Conyers - Sensenbrenner - Manzullo amendment would have ended fee diversion and enabled the USPTO to keep all fees it collects. Full funding for the Patent Office has always been a primary objective of American Innovators for Patent Reform. With the defeat of this amendment, H.R. 1249 is left with no redeeming provisions. This ill-conceived legislation will make it more expensive for inventors, small businesses and universities to secure patents, and more difficult for them to enforce the patents they own.
“Ending fee diversion – a hidden tax on innovation – was the only redeeming feature of the America Invents Act worth supporting,” says Alexander Poltorak, AIPR’s founder and President. “Without it, H.R. 1249 might as well be renamed as the ‘America Invents No More Act’.”
“We urge all of our members and supporters to call the DC offices of their U.S. Representatives with a simple message: Vote NO on H.R. 1249!” exhorts Alec Schibanoff, Executive Director of American Innovators for Patent Reform. “We also urge all members and supporters to forward this e-mail to their friends, associates and colleagues, asking them to call their Representatives as well. Time is short. H.R. 1249 is on the House floor today!”
There are 15 amendments to H.R. 1249 up for a vote today. Some deserve our support. The Sensenbrenner amendment, for example, strikes the first-to-file provision in the law, while the Baldwin-Sensenbrenner Amendment strikes prior-user rights.
AIPR asks its members and supporters to go to www.congress.org and enter their zip code. The website will return the name and contact information for the user’s U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators. Since the bill is coming up before the House, the immediate concern is to call all House members. Since House members may not read an e-mail or fax, it is important to make a telephone call to the Representative’s DC office and leave a message: “Vote NO on H.R. 1249! Vote NO on Manager's amendment, YES on Conyers-Rohrabacher, YES on Baldwin-Sensenbrenner, YES on Conyers-Markey, NO on Waters, YES on Sensenbrenner, YES on Rohrabacher-Kaptur, YES on Schock Amendment.”