Inventor Rights Proposal

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INVENTOR RIGHTS PROPOSAL

Legislation is required to restore patent protection for inventors and mitigate a generation of laws, regulations, and court decisions that have discouraged innovation by failing to secure to inventors the exclusive rights to their discoveries.

TODAY’S INVENTORS

  • Face hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expense and annihilation of their patent rights in unlimited third-party patent validity challenges at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)
  • Must endure up to a decade and spend tens of millions of dollars in legal expense to obtain a final judgment in court against infringers
  • Are denied standing to file suit in their own home district under the 2018 TC Heartland decision
  • Are denied the basic right to exclude others from using their invention under the 2006 Ebay decision
  • Are not compensated fairly or sufficiently to prevent efficient infringement of their patent rights
  • Are denied meaningful participation in the patent system which stifles our main source of innovation

These are largely unintended consequences of measures put in place to curtail abuses of the patent system committed by non-inventors. This proposal preserves the status quo with respect to non-inventors while restoring reliable enforceable patent rights to true inventors with real inventions.

THE SOLUTION

To encourage inventors to participate in the grand bargain – sharing their discovery in exchange for a time-limited exclusive right – patents held by the original inventor must be protected from unintended harm of policies and rulings that targeted abusive practices by non-inventors.

THE USPTO MUST STOP TAKING BACK PATENTS FROM INVENTORS

The PTAB cancels claims in 84% of patents it reviews and inventors do not have the $450,000 necessary to fund a legal defense. Under this bill inventors will be permitted to opt out of PTAB and defend their patent rights in a traditional court. If the PTAB is reformed such that it is a faster and cheaper alternative to district court, then inventors will voluntarily participate.

COURTS MUST PROHIBIT USING A PATENTED INVENTION WITHOUT PERMISSION

In Ebay (2006) the Supreme Court held that inventors cannot decide who uses their invention or how it is used. This bill mandates that a patent conveys to the inventor true ownership over the rights to their invention, including the right injunctive relief. The Constitution and economic principle mandate that the patent grant to the inventors the exclusive rights to their discoveries.

INFRINGERS MUST NOT PROFIT BY USING AN INVENTION WITHOUT PERMISSION

Under current law inventors only receive a “reasonable royalty”, whereas even a willful infringer gets to keep most of their profits from using the invention without authorization. This bill provides for profit disgorgement from willful infringers who knew or should have known of their violation.

OTHER MEASURES

In addition inventors must be entitled to: jurisdiction in their home district; expedited and streamlined judicial proceedings; simplified damages; recovery of attorney fees that substantially exceed damages awarded.