House Passes H.R. 3309 “Innovation Act”

On December 5, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3309 (the “Innovation Act”), a law that has nothing to do with innovation. The purpose of the law is to make it more difficult for universities, inventors, small businesses and others to enforce their patent rights by making them liable for the legal costs of the defendant should they go to trial and lose.

H.R. 3309 was drafted by lobbyists for the big tech corporations that are the most blatant infringers of patents. A large corporation can afford to pay the $3 or $4 or $5 million it costs to sue an infringer for patent infringement, but small entities are hard pressed to finance the cost of patent litigation, much less also pay the legal costs for the losing side.

Worse yet, federal law already gives District Court judges the option to make losing plaintiffs pay the defendant’s legal costs if the judge determines that the lawsuit was without merit. It is inherently un-American to force losers to pay the legal costs of defendants because it limits access to the legal system.

The result of H.R. 3309, if it passes in the Senate and is signed into law, is to weaken U.S. Patents. That will make America less competitive in an increasingly more competitive global economy. It will also make it more difficult for innovators to raise the capital needed to commercialize their patented technologies, and that means fewer start-up businesses and, ultimately, few new jobs, since it is the small businesses that are the job creators. The large high tech corporations that paid for and got H.R. 3309 passed are the exporters of U.S. jobs overseas!

Here are some links to more information about H.R. 3309:

What Can You Do?
Write to both of your U.S. Senators, and tell them that when the Senate version of H.R. 3309 comes up for a vote, please vote NO because the “Innovation Act” as nothing to do with innovation, it will weaken U.S. Patents, it will make America less competitive, and it is a job killer!

Keep in mind that intellectual property is not an issue for which legislators receive large volumes of input from their constituents, so just a few letters, calls and/or e-mails can make a difference!

The America Invents Act
Download “What Innovators Need to Know – and Need to Do – under the America Invents Act,” a white paper developed by AIPR and sponsored by General Patent Corporation.