From the Alliance

Mar. 12, 2015

Innovation Alliance Statement on “Harmful” SXSW Panels on Current Patent Legislation

Washington D.C. – In advance of patent panels being held at SXSW in support of harmful legislation that will degrade the American patent system, Innovation Alliance Executive Director Brian Pomper issues the following statement:

“For the past 200 years Americans have enjoyed the benefits of life-enriching innovation made possible by our nation’s inventors. A large number of the inventions that have helped propel America forward have been protected by the U.S. Patent System, which also provides patent holders with crucial rights and safeguards that help defend their intellectual property.

“While there appears to be a well-intentioned legislative push to rid our innovation ecosystem of abusive activity, we would caution against any action that would have unintended consequences for America’s independent inventors, small businesses and universities. Drastically altering our patent system through overly broad legislation such as the Innovation Act (H.R. 9) would weaken the rights of these smaller entities and give larger, well-established companies an unfair competitive advantage.

“Numerous panels taking place during SXSW including “Beware the Troll: A Founders Primer on Patents” and “Disruptive Innovators Under Attack” are advocating on behalf of this misguided legislative approach. Instead of participating in these counterproductive discussions, those at SXSW would be better served if they attended the watch parties on March 15 at The Driskill Hotel for “Inventing to Nowhere,” a documentary about two first-time inventors facing the challenges of building a startup and protecting their innovation.

“We encourage lawmakers and those within the industry to examine ways we can target malicious patent practices while protecting hardworking patent holders who continue to drive innovation and economic growth throughout the country. This is a process that requires prudence and careful consideration, and it should provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to have their thoughts and concerns heard. We look forward to a meaningful discussion that seeks practical solutions and focuses on the importance of preserving our patent system.”



The Innovation Alliance represents innovators, patent owners and stakeholders from a diverse range of industries that believe in the critical importance of maintaining a strong patent system that supports innovative enterprises of all sizes. Innovation Alliance members can be found in large and small communities across the country, helping to fuel the innovation pipeline and drive the 21st century economy. Learn more at

Contact: Kat Maramba, 202-412-9144,