Passage by House of H.R. 1249 is a Setback for Inventors, Small Businesses and Universities According to AIPR

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American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR) believes that passage by the House of H.R. 1249 is a setback for inventors, small businesses and universities, and it may lead to inventors opting for trade secret protection.

Passage by the House of Representatives of the “America Invents Act” (H.R. 1249) is a setback for inventors according to American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR), an advocacy group for inventors and other stakeholders opposed to the legislation.

“We are very concerned that the change to a first-to-file regime and post-grant opposition will stifle innovation in the U.S., and because the House version of the bill fails to provide full funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO),” says Alexander Poltorak, AIPR’s founder and president. “This legislation was bought and paid for by large corporations which see being forced to pay royalties for technology invented by others as an unfair business practice. Faced with the escalating costs of defending their patent validity when challenged by post-grant oppositions, I fear that many inventors and small businesses will keep their inventions as trade secrets instead of patenting them, contrary to the intent of the Founding Fathers who envisioned the patent system as a mechanism to encourage disclosure of inventions to stimulate the progress of science and technology as they enshrined it in the Constitution.”

“While the House bill – unlike the Senate bill (S. 23) – does not provide full funding for the Patent Office, it does establish a reserve fund for collected fees that exceed the agency’s budget,” observes Alec Schibanoff, executive director of American Innovators for Patent Reform. “As a self-funded agency that finances its operations from the user fees it collects, full funding would enable the USPTO to discharge its current 700,000 patent application backlog and improve patent quality. We expect the final legislation to provide for full funding of the Patent Office.”

American Innovators for Patent Reform was part of a coalition of organizations – IPAdvocate.org, the National Congress of Inventor Organizations, IEEE USA, the National Association of Patent Practitioners, the National Small Business Association and the Professional Inventors Alliance USA, among others – that opposed H.R. 1249. The coalition opposed a change in U.S. Patent law from the traditional American first-to-invent system to a European-style first-to-file regime, opposed establishment of a post-grant opposition – a third post-grant review process to challenge patent validity in addition to the two reexamination procedures already in place – and supported full funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

About American Innovators for Patent Reform
American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR) represents a broad constituency of American innovators and innovation stakeholders including inventors, engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs, patent owners, investors, small businesses and intellectual property professionals such as patent attorneys, technology transfer managers and licensing executives.

AIPR opposes any patent legislation that weakens the U.S. patent system, a key driving force behind American innovation. AIPR advocates full funding for the Patent Office, a multi-tier patent system, automation of the patent application process and synchronization of patent and copyright laws.

For more information about AIPR, please visit http://www.aminn.org.

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Alec Schibanoff
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