Just over an hour before President Barack Obama was scheduled to deliver a speech on job creation, the Senate passed the House version of the America Invents Act with any amendments.
Though the bill is supposed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship (and thus create jobs), many patent experts - including Alexander Poltorak of both GPC and American Innovators for Patent Reform - feel that the legislation will actually be a job-killer ("Senate passes historic patent reform legislation", The National Law Journal, September 8, 2011 - free registration required).
The bill is "anti-innovation legislation," said Alexander Poltorak, founder and chairman of American Innovators for Patent Reform, a coalition of inventors, companies and licensing executives. "It is going to hurt job creation, and it is certainly going to hurt our industry and the economy in the long run," Poltorak said.
Poltorak also said the bill would hurt inventors, universities and small companies, which do most of the innovating and inventing. "The only ones that are going to benefit are large multinationals that sponsored the bill and that drafted the bill," Poltorak said.
Poltorak, who is an inventor himself, predicts that if the bill becomes law the already-backlogged patent office will be flooded with applications because of the first-to-file provision. "People are going to run to the patent office with every single idea they get which is going to completely clog up the patent office," he said. "Patent applications are going to be of worse quality and less mature."
The new post-grant review procedure, which is an adversarial procedure before an administrative judge, "is going to give a sniper rifle to the hands of big companies," Poltorak said. "People will just abandon their patents," Poltorak said. "It's an excellent patent assassination provision and nothing else."
The bill also neglects to address a key needed reform, which would be a multi-tiered patent system, Poltorak said. Most of the industrial countries offer different types of patents and different protection levels, such as a senior patent for a major invention and a junior patent for a minor improvement.
"In the U.S., if you file a cure for AIDS and an invention for a kitchen gadget you get exactly the same protection," Poltorak said. "We're not debating an issue that would bring our patent system into the 21st century."
Read full article on Law.com - free registration required. The story was also published on the Texas Lawyer website.