Given a Voice on Patent Reform by AIPR,
Inventors Send a Clear Message
Researchers, Engineers and Patent Professionals Fear that
Weaker Patents Will Make America Less Competitive
New York, NY, June 4, 2009 – A non-profit organization, American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR), has been formed to give a voice to American innovators – inventors, scientists, engineers, researchers, small companies, investors, patent owners and intellectual property service providers – in the ongoing debate on patent reform.
Congress is currently considering the Patent Reform Act of 2009 (Senate bill S. 515 and House bill H.R. 1260), and a broad coalition of organizations have voiced opposition to this proposed legislation, which seeks to weaken patent protection. However, each of these organizations represents a specific group or industry. Unfortunately, currently proposed patent reforms are being vocally debated by incumbent firms, who are seeking self-serving changes without regard to the interests of small companies, independent inventors, new entrants, start-up innovators and future businesses. American Innovators for Patent Reform was formed, in part, to ensure that the voices of the latter group are heard. Until the founding of AIPR, no group properly represented the voice of inventors, patent owners and patent professionals in the important patent reform debate that will shape the future of innovation in America.
“American innovators – the people behind new inventions and discoveries – are the most important stakeholders in the debate on patent reform, but their voices have not been heard,” observes Dr. Alexander Poltorak, founder and the President of AIPR. “American inventors and patent practitioners overwhelmingly oppose the Patent Reform Act of 2009, and we intend to give them a voice in this important debate,” he concluded.
“Vast industries have been created from independent inventors and small business owners empowered by our current patent laws; AIPR has created a voice for this vibrant economic engine that is not represented anywhere else,” declares Ron Reardon, an AIPR Board Member. As a Patent Agent and President of the National Association of Patent Practitioners (NAPP), Ron Reardon adds – speaking on behalf of patent practitioners – that “Smart patent reform should be directed toward changes in patent law that make patents more valuable and encourage invention!”
“American inventors face substantial barriers in protecting their inventions abroad because patenting costs in each major foreign patent office are several times that of the US,” says Dr. Ron Katznelson, president of Bi-Level Technologies, an inventor and a member of AIPR. “We hope that Congress will focus on America’s small business’ ability to compete on a level playing field in international markets rather than engage in degrading the American patent system for purposes that only serve well-established large corporations,” Katznelson adds.
AIPR’s Patent Reform Principles
American Innovators for Patent Reform was founded on four principles that are critical to true patent reform:
- 1. Patents are personal property that must be accorded the same respect and protection as any other form of property.
- 2. The US patent system has been recognized as being responsible for the economic success of our country. As such, it must remain the driving force of innovation in the US. It is the American innovators who will pave the way for economic recovery and economic growth, who will create new industries and new jobs, and who will assure long-term leadership for the US in an increasingly competitive global economy.
- 3. A patent is a social contract between an inventor and society, whereby the inventor is granted a limited exclusionary right, i.e., a public franchise, in exchange for disclosing his or her invention to the public. A patent is a quid-pro-quo for invention disclosure, not for its practice. Whether a patent is owned by an individual, a large corporation, a university or a small business, the geniuses behind these innovations, the source of tomorrow’s technologies, are the true heroes and they must be given a voice in any debate on patent reform.
- 4. A strong patent provides protection for the investments required to develop and commercialize the invention.
AIPR’s Position on Patent Reform
American Innovators for Patent Reform opposes the Patent Reform Act of 2009 currently pending before Congress. Specifically, AIPR opposes
- Apportionment of damages, which is still in the House version of the bill
- Post-Grant Opposition
- Redefinition of Prior Art and change from the American First-to-Invent system to a First-to-File patent regime
- Limitations on venue
Notwithstanding these objections, AIPR does not oppose patent reform in principle. AIPR proposes an alternative reform to strengthen and modernize the US patent system and to provide US patentees with more robust patent rights internationally. Some of these proposals include:
- Legislation to improve funding and operations of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), including putting a statutory end to user fee diversion
- Aligning the basic principles of patent laws with copyright laws
- Legislation clarifying that the equitable factors in applying the exclusive power of a patent have been considered by, and included in, the framers’ express grant of the constitutional right of all patent owners to “exclude others.” This legislation should provide all valid patent owners with an unconditional right to obtain a permanent injunction, irrespective of the owner’s business or identity.
- Legislation to clarify what is patentable subject matter in a manner that promotes innovation
- Legislation that will require the US government to seek trade agreements that remove the built-in trade barriers of foreign patent laws by securing for American inventors rights similar to those available in the US for foreign inventors. This includes adoption of the 1-year “grace period” for invention disclosure and providing reduced fees for small patenting entities in foreign patent offices.
Board of Directors
American Innovators for Patent Reform currently has a three-member Board of Directors:
¨ Alexander Poltorak, Chairman and CEO of General Patent Corporation and co-author of two books on patents, Essentials of Intellectual Property (John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc., 2002) and Essentials of Intellectual Property Licensing (John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc., 2003).
¨ Ron Reardon, President of the National Association of Patent Practitioners (NAPP). He is also President of United Inventors Association, a registered Patent Agent with the US Patent and Trademark Office, the author of numerous patent-related articles, and President of Patents & More, Inc.
¨ Lawrence J. Udell, Executive Director at Intellectual Property International, Ltd. He is an inventor and entrepreneur, a popular writer and speaker on intellectual property issues, and founder of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society (LES). Mr. Udell created over 30 successful new ventures in the past 50 years based on inventions.
American Innovators for Patent Reform offers three classes of membership, and for a limited time, all memberships in AIPR are free. Those interested in joining can visit www.aminn.org and apply on line.
About American Innovators for Patent Reform
Headquartered in Manhattan, AIPR represents inventors, engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs, patent owners, investors and small businesses, as well as patent professionals such as patent agents, patent attorneys and licensing executives. For more information about AIPR, please visit www.aminn.org.
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