THE INVENTOR RIGHTS ACT OF 2019
H. R. 5478
“This Legislation Restores Patent Protection For Inventors.”
WHAT IS THE INVENTOR RIGHTS ACT?
This legislation restores patent protection for inventors and mitigates a generation of laws, regulations, and court decisions that have discouraged innovation by failing to secure to inventors the exclusive rights to their discoveries.
This bill preserves the status quo with respect to non-inventors while restoring reliable and enforceable patent rights to genuine inventors.
To encourage inventors to participate in the grand bargain – sharing their discoveries in exchange for a time-limited exclusive right – patents owned by the original inventor must be protected from unintended harm of policies and rulings that targeted abusive practices by non-inventors.
USPTO MAY NOT CONDUCT AN INTER PARTES REVIEW OF AN ISSUED PATENT WITHOUT CONSENT OF THE INVENTOR
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has cancelled claims in 84% of the 2,500+ patents reviewed since 2011 and most inventors do not have a half a million dollars necessary to fund a legal defense. Under this bill inventors who own their own patent will be permitted to opt out of PTAB. Accused infringers will have the right to challenge validity in a regular court of law, which is how the U.S. patent system worked for our first 190 years. If the PTAB is reformed such that it is a faster and cheaper alternative to district court, then inventors will voluntarily participate
INFRINGERS MUST NOT PROFIT BY USING AN INVENTION WITHOUT PERMISSION
Under current law inventors usually only receive a “reasonable royalty”, while even a willful infringer gets to keep most of their profits from using the invention without permission. This bill disgorges all of the profits from willful infringers who knew or should have known of their violation of a patent owned by the original inventor. This remedy is consistent with other forms of intellectual property including design patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
In addition, inventors that own their own patent will be entitled to:
- injunctions to prohibit unauthorized use of the invention
- the right to file suit in their home district
- recovery of attorney fees that substantially exceed the amount of damages awarded
WHY WE NEED TO PROTECT INVENTOR RIGHTS
Did you know? It’s not only inventors that suffer when their rights are not enforced.
When infringers steal inventions, they produce similar versions (counterfeits, knock-offs, me-toos, fakes, replicas, imitations, reproductions etc.), which are then distributed and sold in the marketplace to unsuspecting buyers.
North Carolina Secretary of state Elaine Marshall says “While it seems innocent buying counterfeit products, it’s a form of theft. You’re stealing from everyone in the business cycle. The people who invented it, the people who manufactured it, the people who ship it.”
Sadly many counterfeits are made cheaply and can be dangerous.
Stolen inventions are everywhere, maybe you’ve unsuspectingly bought one? Did you ever consider that perhaps the code in your tech-gadgets was pilfered from an independent inventor’s patented innovation?
This is why we need your help. We need to protect inventor rights, home-grown businesses and consumers too.
DID YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS CURRENTLY FOR INVENTORS TO DEFEND A PATENT?
Inventors face hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses and annihilation of their patent rights in unlimited third-party patent validity challenges at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
“The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) conducts trials, including inter partes, post-grant, and covered business method patent reviews and derivation proceedings, hears appeals from adverse examiner decisions in patent applications and reexamination proceedings, and renders decisions in interferences.”
The interactive Q&As featured below highlight what are largely unintended consequences of measures put in place to curtail abuses of the patent system committed by non-inventors.
US Inventor Rally at the AIPLA 2019 Annual Meeting
Inventor rally to: (a) support Zaxcom’s Glen Sanders and Howard Stark (Emmy Recipients & Inventors), during their Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) trial and (b) generate awareness about Inventor Rights. Held on Friday October 25, 2019 at Gaylord National Harbor, National Harbor, MD 20745, during the the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) 2019 Annual Meeting.