Patent News

Mar. 9, 2015

Albuquerque Journal Opinion: Bill would weaken patent system, by Sandra Begay-Campbell

This post originally appeared in Albuquerque Journal on March 9, 2015.

The University of New Mexico recently joined more than 145 U.S. research universities and 250 businesses and organizations in sending letters of concern to the U.S. House and Senate judiciary committees and the New Mexico congressional delegation regarding pending legislation, Innovation Act HR 9, before the House Judiciary Committee.

The pending legislation to address patent litigation abuses, which is already being largely addressed by the 2012 America Invents Act, is so broadly drawn that it would further weaken the nation’s patent system and hinder the flow of new technologies from university research to the private sector.

The board of directors of STC.UNM, the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer and economic-development organization, is a diverse group of individuals comprised of researchers, inventors, academics, administrators, government leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, investors, lawyers and community leaders, with local, state, national and international ties. We are charged with guiding STC in its mission to support the University of New Mexico and its partners as the source for technology commercialization and economic development for our region and the state of New Mexico.

We are writing to express our collective concern for the continued vitality of New Mexico’s growing innovation ecosystem and the jobs of the skilled and dedicated employees it engages.

Our recently established Innovate ABQ, a collaborative initiative anchored to our university and structured to stimulate the commercialization of university technologies through the creation and maturing of new and established small companies, is poised to recharge New Mexico’s economy and transform it into an innovation economy.

We respect and appreciate recent congressional efforts to strengthen our patent system. The recently enacted American Invents Act led to substantial patent-application and post-grant validation efficiencies while curbing abusive litigation.

We strongly support targeted initiatives to prosecute predatory troll demand-letter activity. But, we respectfully oppose adding further comprehensive revisions to patent law we believe will significantly weaken the ability of inventors, universities and small companies to protect and enforce their patents and, thus, impede our efforts to strengthen our state’s economy.