American inventors from all walks of life will be rallying in six cities on Thursday, September 16, 2021, to shine a spotlight on the America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA). Signed into law on that day 10 years ago, the AIA has crippled inventors and created A Decade of Stolen Dreams. The six rallies will be held in Alexandria, VA, Burlington, VT, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Detroit, MI, and San Jose, CA.
While not the intent of Congress, that innocent sounding piece of legislation has devastated the rights of independent inventors and startups in favor of Big Tech and multi-national conglomerates through the establishment of an administrative tribunal, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
Our U.S. Constitution, ratified on September 17, 1787, uses the word ‘right’ exactly once, in Article I Section 8, Clause 8. There it guarantees to authors and inventors “the exclusive Right their respective Writings and Discoveries.” For over two centuries, the innovation by inventors, protected by that right, helped fuel the American economy and assisted a countless number of citizens to achieve the American Dream.
That changed dramatically when the AIA – the single worst piece of patent legislation in our country’s Intellectual Property history – introduced some of the most significant alterations to the U.S. Patent System. The PTAB removed an inventor’s rights to a jury trial, lifetime-appointed judge, and due process when another infringes or steals their patent. Those lost rights effectively turned a private property right into a public franchise.
The result has been catastrophic. As of June 24, 2021, the PTAB has invalidated 84% of the 3,105 challenged patents that have been reviewed and issued a Final Written Decision. It rightfully earned the nickname: the Patent Death Squad, a term coined by former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader, back in 2013, when he observed what was happening within our patent system.
A further consequence of the AIA and the PTAB’s astronomical patent invalidation rates has been that new technology development is fleeing to aggressive, expansionist countries like China, a country that strengthened their patent system while we destroyed ours. Chinese companies connected to the CCP, like Huawei, ZTE and TikTok, are using the PTAB as a vehicle to invalidate the patents of Americans and take their technologies.
“There are MANY independent inventors and startups being taken out of commission by the Patent Death Squad,” said US Inventor Policy Director Josh Malone. “We are approaching the ten year anniversary of the AIA and it has proven to be weapon of mass destruction in the hands of giant corporations and their political cronies. It is, literally, carnage.”
For the very reason Malone points out, inventors – many whose lives and businesses have been unjustly destroyed by PTAB hearings – will be gathering to make their voices heard at Decade of Stolen Dreams rallies in front of the five USPTO Regional offices, as well as at the main Vermont office of Senator Patrick Leahy, the bill’s principal sponsor.