Evan Bayh OpEd and STRONGER Patents Summary

The Hill newspaper has just featured an op-ed by former Senator Evan Bayh, son of Bayh Dole’s co-sponsor. He reiterates many self-inflicted harms recently affecting US innovation especially their adverse impact on lesser-resourced independent inventors and small business that supply new US jobs. In his closing paragraph, he underlines the importance of strong patents to the development of future jobs.

“Ultimately, people and organizations innovate because they expect to reap the financial rewards associated with doing so. America thrives thanks to startups, creative ideas and novel technologies. Thankfully, we can still take steps to restore our patent system to protect patent owners and encourage invention. We need a system that will attract investment, generate jobs, and create a level playing field for companies across the United States. It’s vital for our future and, historically, what America has always done.”

Add to this the new looming harm to life science commercialization promised by enactment KEI’s price-based Bayh-Dole march-in amendment campaign in full swing on Capitol Hill and its is easy to see why to preserve commercialization we must counter this anti-patent activity soon. He also  refers readers to the STRONGER Patents Act, a summary of which is reprinted below. 

Please consider forwarding both to your congressional delegations. 

Read Senator  Bayh’s article.

The STRONGER Patents Act of 2017 Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience

Why STRONGER Patents?

A number of changes over the past decade have weakened the U.S. patent system, from Supreme Court decisions to the unintended consequences of new post-grant administrative proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The result is that the U.S. patent system is now ranked tenth worldwide by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Until this year, it was always ranked first. Ø These changes risk undermining investor confidence in technology-intensive small businesses, ceding the U.S.’s historic edge in innovation to Europe or China.

The impact of undermining the patent system will be significant—patent-intensive industries create high-paying jobs that have a wage premium of 74%, and the U.S. currently has a trade surplus of about $85 billion due to the licensing of IP rights.

Strong patents are also vital to technology-intensive startups. Research shows that if a startup receives a patent, its chance of securing venture capital increases over 50% and it is likely to have better growth in employment and sales.

What Can We Do? 

Enact balanced reforms to restore the U.S. patent system to the world’s gold standard.

Protect American Inventors from Illegal Infringement U.S. courts should treat a patent like any other property right, permitting preliminary injunctions to protect patent owners against infringement while cases are pending, and granting permanent relief to protect a patent owner from ongoing infringement after a court determines the patent to be valid and infringed. A presumption that patent owners are entitled to injunctive relief will also encourage infringers to negotiate fair licenses based on the free market, keeping cases out of court.

Ensure fairness in Patent Office Administrative challenges five years after the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act created proceedings at the Patent Office to allow faster and cheaper challenges to patents, it has become clear that further changes are needed to limit repetitive and harassing challenges against patent owners and to ensure that the proceedings are fair to all parties, including solo inventors and small businesses.

Protect Small Businesses and Consumers from Abusive Patent Demand Letters Changes are needed to ensure that the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general have the tools they need to protect consumers and small businesses from bad-faith, abusive demand letters.

Fully Fund the USPTO to Ensure Timely, High-Quality Patents Inventors’ patent application fees should remain at the USPTO. It’s not fair to tax inventors for government spending. Adequate, dependable funding is critical for timely, higher-quality patents.

The STRONGER Patents Act of 2017

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