Inventor Rights Act of 2019

This legislation restores patent protection for inventors

Learn more about the Inventor Rights Act:

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ONE PAGE SUMMARY
SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS
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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.

OTHER PROTECTIONS

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.

The Department of Ecology and the Washington Attorney General’s Office found 85.37% of counterfeit children’s items tested contained high levels of toxic metals.

Apple claims that 90% of Apple products sold on Amazon are counterfeit.

The Wall Street Journal also exposed thousands of unsafe and/or counterfeit items sold on Amazon.

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.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Please sign the Inventor Rights Resolution -- together we can help restore patent protection for inventors
SIGN THE RESOLUTION

The time has come 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 right to their discoveries. With your signature we can make this happen.

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.

Is it easy for an inventor to defend their patent?

No! - Inventors must endure up to a  decade-long battle and spend tens of millions of dollars in legal expenses to obtain a final judgment in court against infringers.

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Can an inventor file suit in their home district?

Inventors are denied standing to file suit in their own home district under the 2018 TC Heartland decision. This means more costs, including travel and legal counsel in another state.

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Does a patentee has the automatic right to stop others from using their inventions?

No! - Inventors are denied the basic right to exclude others from using their invention under the 2006 eBay decision.

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Why are inventor rights continually infringed upon?

Inventors are not compensated fairly or sufficiently to prevent efficient infringement of their patent rights.

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What other significant hurdles do inventors face?

Inventors are denied meaningful participation in the patent system, this stifles their main source of innovation.

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How often do inventors prevail when their case is examined by the PTAB?

Only 16% of patents survive the PTAB intact. That means 84% of them fail, Yikes!

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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.

JOIN OUR VOICE

Request that Congress Support the Inventor Rights Act -- and Help Protect American Inventors
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

Collectively, we must help Members of Congress understand how this Act will positively impact inventors, businesses, consumers and the American economy.