Patent News

Feb. 9, 2015

IP Watchdog: Reintroduced Innovation Act Goes Too Far – By a Mile, by Fatih Ozluturk

This post originally appeared in IP Watchdog on February 9, 2015.

As has been expected for some time, the patent reform bill, called the Innovation Act, has been reintroduced this week. The bill’s expressed aim is to curb the much publicized patent troll problem. Most people involved in the world of intellectual property either as inventors, professionals, or users agree that there is need for improvement in the current law as it relates to patent assertions, as well as the USPTO rules and regulations, to bring our patent system more in line with the faster pace of innovation and changing nature of inventions. An unfortunate development lately is that the debate took the form of a religious war between extreme views, trumping reasonable proposals to solve the problem at hand. On the one extreme are the irresponsible entities that bring abusive patent enforcement cases to extract nuisance fees from defendants, and therefore all too happy to see the current regime continue, and on the other extreme are the entities that want to turn the uproar over patent trolls into a full blown lynching of small inventors and innovative entrepreneurs so they can continue to cement their dominant positions at the expense of innovation.

This bill has elements that can be part of an ultimate solution, however it cannot escape being a rubber stamp for a viewpoint that sees intellectual property rights as nuisance rather than a principal cog in the American invention machine. Unfortunately, if the Congress moves forward and ratifies this bill in the form proposed, it will create more problems than the one it is solving.