Law360 looks at what issues slid under the radar this year. Richard Baker, New England Intellectual Property LLC, writes:
“The most underreported IP development in 2015 is Capitol Hill’s attitude reversal regarding patent rights. For half a decade, infringers dominated intellectual property debate, vilifying patent owners and keeping inventors from telling their side. In 2015, things changed when inventor Paul Morinville spent retirement funds to travel to Washington for doortodoor meetings with House and Senate staffers. He demonstrated how patent reform hurt inventors and innovation. Morinville pointed to a crash in secondary patent sales as the beginning of the end of American innovation, leaving a bleak technology future. As his effort progressed, other inventors joined him, in Washington and in the press, publishing articles on the huge loss of patent values due to AIA legislation. As 2015 draws to an end, support for further patent reform has waned as politicians realize the role patents play in creating a strong economy and that the AIA may have gone too far.”
The importance of strong intellectual property cannot be overstated. As we look to 2016, any potential legislation in the coming year out of Washington D.C. must not only strengthen patents, but not undermine any intellectual property that small inventors and innovators rely on to defend their inventions.