A new letter currently being circulated among conservative leaders urges Congress not to pass new patent legislation that many see as a quick “fix” from Washington that would effectively overhaul the way patent cases are litigated.
Ronald Reagan’s former attorney general Edwin Meese has joined a growing number of conservatives urging Congress not to pass proposed legislation changing America’s patent system. Ronald Reagan said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
“Strong patent protections have set the United States apart from nations like China and India, among others, and have been critical to the creation of wealth and jobs and to the U.S.’ role in the world,” the Conservative Action Project’s letter reads.
In recent months Blackwell has also become a vocal critic of patent reform. In December 2014, Blackwell wrote The Conservative Case Against Patent Reform, where he argued that “the protection of property rights is one of the most fundamental conservative principles and we cannot surrender them to deal with a supposed litigation crisis that does not exist.”
Many have read about legal battles fought between large technology companies and entities referred to as “patent trolls” and wondered, “what is a patent troll?” Obviously, it has something to do with patent laws and infringing on someone’s patent rights, but what does it really mean? Who does it apply to? and Where did the term come from?
The term “intellectual property” refers to a loose cluster of legal doctrines that regulate the uses of different sorts of ideas and insignia. Successful innovation requires a great deal more. At a minimum it requires: A basis for long-term contracts. Such contracts in turn require, the rule of law, by then returns on innovation may star to grow.
Patent law protects inventions and some kinds of discoveries and services manufactured or supplied by particular firms, commercially valuable information, etc that companies attempt to conceal from their competitors. The fortunes of many businesses now depend heavily on intellectual-property rights and the economic and cultural importance of this collection of rules is increasing rapidly.
A growing percentage of the legal profession specializes in intellectual-property disputes. The practice of using trademarks to indicate the source or origin of products dates back thousands of years. Within the past few decades, however, the economic value of trademarks and other intellectual property (IP) has skyrocketed in comparison to traditional tangible assets.
HG.org share related intellectual property legal and recall U.S. presidet in office at the time of first patent Law. The first patent laws in the United States were enacted in 1790 by President George Washington and constitute the basis of the US patent system. The statute was titled “An Act to Promote the Progress of Useful Arts” and is significant for pioneering, in the United States, the conferment by law of rights of inventors to their creations. It established a Patent Board, whose members were given absolute authority to grant a patent.
The founding fathers understood the importance and sanctity of property rights. So much so, that the constitution directly protects this right in Article 1, Section 8. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress express authority to grant authors and inventors exclusive rights to their creations. Section 8 also gives Congress the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce, providing further support for its right to legislate in this area.
The latter part of the century saw many developments, including in the patent law itself. In 2011 the latest Patent Reform Act – known as the Leahy- Smith America Invents Act or, popularly, the America Invents Act – was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law on 16 September 2011 by President Barack Obama.
One very significant change brought about by the Act was the cessation of the first-to-invent system in favour of the first-to-file system, as a step towards being “consistent with patent laws throughout most of the world” This was the last significant change prior to the adoption of the US Patent Reform Act of 2011. Act — and in recent years the courts have issued multiple rulings that have addresses many of the problems innovators face in dealing with patent trolls.
There are currently two patent reform bills circulating in the House and the Senate, The Innovation Act and PATENT Act, respectively. The Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act (the PATENT Act, S. 1137), introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley, represents Congress’ most recent attempt at patent reform. According to the drafters, the PATENT Act and its counterpart in the House, the Innovation Act, H.R. 9, purport to stop abusive patent litigation practices and prevent “bad actors” from undermining the patent system.
Both bills contain provisions related to heightened pleading standards, fee shifting, discovery reforms, customer stays, abusive demand letters, and America Invents Act (“AIA”) reviews. Many of the changes are targeted at patent assertion entities (with the exclusion of universities) and entities filing frivolous claims. However, some of the most significant reforms in the PATENT Act—the changes to AIA reviews—favor patent owners.
The Innovation Act of the 113th Congress (H.R. 3309) is a bill that would change the rules and regulations surrounding patent infringement lawsuits in an attempt to reduce patent lawsuits. This bill in the 113th United States Congress, which passed by the House on December 5, 2013, but never passed by the United States Senate. Instead, the Senate responded with several bills, including the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act (S. 1720); in December 2013, the full Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the topic.
In May 2014, Senator Patrick Leahy, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced he was “taking the patent bill off [their] agenda” due to a failure of the House and Senate to “combat the scourge of patent trolls on our economy without burdening the companies and universities who rely on the patent system every day”.
The bill was reintroduced in the 114th United States Congress in February 2015 by its original sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R, VA-6), and by June 9, 2015, it had accumulated 26 cosponsors. Supports of the legislation say it will update intellectual property laws to reign in “patent trolls” — mostly shell companies that buy up vague patents with the intent of suing other companies for infringement. In the other end the opponents of the bills say they impose overreaching standards that patent litigation that would make it hard for small innovators to protect their property rights.
They argue the legislation favors major tech companies like Google and Apple. They claim that the rush for broad reform, while geared to limiting lawsuits, threatens inventors. They also charge that companies such as Google, which has hundreds of patents, has cozied up to the Obama administration to win the new reforms that might protect their effort to out-patent competitors like Apple. The latest criticism came from Blackwell in a letter to 75 conservative leaders.
The pursuit of profit by one industry faction at the expense of another should not be dictating policy,
but that is what’s often happening at the nexus of intellectual property law and antitrust law. If this free-market economic balance shifts to favor short-term profits of technology implementers over long-term innovation, consumers will be the biggest losers. Today, political expediency and corporate interests are forcing this initiative even though it is unnecessary.