Insights

Inventors’ Rights Are at Risk

June 8, 2011

Something important is about to happen in Washington D.C. If you care about protecting innovation and the rights of inventors, you need to be aware.

As early as next week, the House of Representatives could vote on H.R. 1249, The America Invents Act. Intellectual Ventures believes this is important legislation for many reasons, and we urge its ultimate enactment. Many of the bill’s sponsors have worked for years on this effort and they should be applauded for their commitment. However, some changes to the current bill are necessary in order to protect inventors’ rights. Specifically, we feel strongly that “Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents (Section 18)” is a particularly harmful provision in the America Invents Act and needs to be removed.

As currently written, this overly broad provision provides unfair exceptions for special interest groups and financial institutions. These unfair exceptions – designed to specifically benefit big banks and financial services companies – will come at the expense of America’s inventors and the businesses they represent. As written, this provision would also put a large number of current patent holders at risk by devaluing tens of thousands of U.S. patents by subjecting them to protracted challenges at the U.S. Patent Office.

In effect, if Section 18 remains, U.S. inventors and businesses who seek to protect their inventions from infringement by the financial services industry will be unfairly subjected to a double standard and they will find their invention rights tied up in endless review process while banks utilize the fruits of their ideas without compensation.

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