Inventor Congressman Tom Massie

Pro-patent members of Congress who were on both sides of the aisle but were few and far between used to meet each year with a few proponent advocates to plan our defense against the big tech’s anti-patent annual onslaught. In 2013, a freshman member from Kentucky named Tom Massie appeared in our midst. He has numerous patents, is an MIT graduate, and completely understands tech transfer. A strong conservative he committed himself then and there to the pro-patent cause. He has been working the House floor itself ever since carrying his whip list in his pocket.  Collectively we owe a lot to Rep. Massie. He is a firm believer in direct personal telephone contact with home state delegations, especially by universities. A few weeks ago, as a keynote speaker at an Eagle Forum Memorial dinner celebrating the relentless past pro-patent advocacy of its founder Phyllis Schlafly he described pro-patent life on the Hill as a member. Gene Quinn who was also at the dinner arranged a future meeting with Tom which resulted in an IPWatchdog interview.

Tom tells it like it is on Capitol Hill and offers common sense suggestions about making our Hill contacts count.

STRONGER Patents Act – a Masterpiece

The opening lines of the press release announcing the introduction of the Senators Coons’ and Cotton’s STRONGER Patents Act (SPA) emphasize the bill’s important economic impact. They understate the bill’s breathtaking legal impact which is set forth in two other summary documents linked in the release; a “one pager” and a “two-pager.” Both are concise and must read. They reveal a masterpiece of common sense content designed to restore our once gold standard patent landscape to its former greatness. All three important documents are linked below. Here is a preview:

Among other things, SPA’s enactment would end PTAB’s reign of terror over lesser-resourced inventors and disruptive technology by harmonizing its burden of proof and claims construction standards with those of the district courts restoring patents’ presumption of validity while confirming patents’ property rights. Its put-up-or-shut-up one-time PTAB claims nullification process, its standing requirements and its meaningful estoppel provisions will help curb routine and abusive misuse by efficient infringer defendants against under-resourced early stage innovation. There are more equally important provisions.

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We Must Support the STRONGER Patents Act

President Trump does not use a computer but last week summoned big tech’s “Help Desk ” anyway. They came to the White House no doubt carrying their own congressional and administration punch list. Mr. Trump wanted help bringing US Gov. tech up to modern standards. They agreed to help. Trump doesn’t read long documents written in mouse print so we can assume like the rest of us he took a quick look at big tech’s “terms agreement” and perhaps performed one of his singing ceremonies. The question of course is what will big tech ask in return? We can assume Trump will be too busy to provide Obama-level fervor for their Innovation Act comprehensive patent litigation revisions (to further protect efficient infringement) but we also can reasonably assume  that by now he will sign anything this Congress can get to his desk.

Last week’s health system debate masked the introduction of the Coons-Cotton STRONGER Act . But it successfully ddressed the declining health of our patent system by :

  • Treating patents like any other property, permitting injunctions to protect patent owners against infringement during and after court cases;
  • Ensuring fairness in Patent Office administrative proceedings, limiting repetitive and harassing challenges against inventors; and
  • Ending the diversion of patent application fees to other government spending, ensuring the Patent Office has the funding needed to grant high-quality patents without harmful delay.

Many of the timely statements of organizational support for STRONGER (linked below) emphasized the PTAB issues now headed for SCOTUS review next year in the Oil States case.

Because of their 11th Amendment PTAB immunity state affiliated research universities and their patent attorneys may be tempted to wait on the sidelines.That would be a big mistake.

Here’s why…

Continue reading We Must Support the STRONGER Patents Act

STRONGER PATENTS ACT -The Pro Patent Force Awakens

Legislation has been introduced today sounding the charge for a pro-patent congressional counter-attack to the patent reform carnage currently afflicting the patent landscape. This new Stronger Patents Act of 2017 will be strongly resisted by the big tech infringer oligopoly. House amendments could convert it into a new Innovation Act. Research universities must actively engage directly now by expressing their support. This effort could backfire into a Bay of Pigs-type defeat if we do not. As you will see from the summary below, this proposal addresses both AIA flaws and SCOTUS imposed harms inflicted on today’s patent landscape harming research university commercialization essential to obtaining research grants.

Here is the sponsor’s one-pager summarizing the bill. This is big bold and beautiful. Please urge your university spokespeople to act quickly.

Continue reading STRONGER PATENTS ACT -The Pro Patent Force Awakens