What You Can Do to Promote REAL Patent Reform

AIPR was founded to combat the passage of patent reform legislation that would be harmful to innovators: Entrepreneurs, inventors, businesses and universities. AIPR vigorously opposed the Patent Reform Acts of 2007, 2009 and 2010, and later the America Invents Act (AIA).

Despite our efforts (and those of many other industry and inventor groups), the AIA passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Obama on September 16, 2011.

But there are still areas of patent reform that we welcome, but which did not make it into the final AIA bill. AIPR urges you to join us in pushing for patent reform that would actually improve the operations of the Patent Office and improve U.S. Patent quality, and assist and promote innovation instead of favoring the large businesses that are the most notorious infringers of patents and other intellectual property:

  • Full Funding for the United States Patent and Trademark Office: The America Invents Act gave the USPTO Director fee-setting capability, but stopped short of allowing the agency to keep all of the fees it collects. Instead, the USPTO budget is set each year by Congress, and the “overage” goes to the Treasury Department for use in other government programs. Full access to all its fee revenue is crucial for the Patent Office to be able to hire more patent examiners (and thus work down the massive patent application backlog), update its outdated IT system, develop new initiatives and open satellite offices to help inventors across the country.
  • Establishment of a Multi-Tier Patent System: The U.S. patent system has issued just one class of U.S. Patent since George Washington signed off on the first U.S. Patent in 1790! With today’s complex overlapping technologies under which some patents are major new technologies while others are improvements on existing technologies, the U.S. needs a multi-tier patent system that reflects the realities of the 21st Century. AIPR founder and patent expert Alexander Poltorak proposed just such a system in an OpEd piece he wrote for the Washington Times (“Patent Reform Misses the Mark”, May 25, 2010). He argues that the “one size fits all” approach to patenting is partly responsible for the patent application backlog at the USPTO, and advocates for the creation of “junior” and “senior” patent classes depending on the level of patent protection needed.

At the same time, AIPR aims to educate inventors and help them adapt to the new patent law and deal with the changes ushered in by the AIA. Toward that end, we will offer white papers (such as “What Innovators Need to Know – and Need to Do – under the America Invents Act”) and other resources.

Membership is FREE for a limited period. By joining, and expanding our membership, you give AIPR additional credibility. Also, the more members we have, the more voices we can mobilize when we need to have an impact, such as when legislation comes before a committee or up for a vote. To learn more or share info on AIPR with your colleagues and friends, click to order our membership brochure.