Patent News

Mar. 26, 2015

Legal Newsline: Entrepreneurs caution lawmakers on patent reform legislation, by Jessica M. Karmasek

This post originally appeared in Legal Newsline on March 26, 2015.

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Entrepreneur Bryan Pate, a self-described “risk taker” and “optimist,” admits that few things scare him, but count proposed changes to the nation’s patent system among them.

Pate, a former Marine officer and now CEO of ElliptiGO Inc. — named by Fast Company Magazine as the sixth most innovative fitness company in the world, behind Nike and Zumba and ahead of CrossFit — told federal lawmakers Wednesday that he has spent a “considerable” amount of time trying to understand how the provisions contained in the House’s Innovation Act will impact his business.

“I am afraid that if H.R. 9 is enacted as written it will have the unintended consequence of hurting American innovators and companies like mine, while perversely protecting unscrupulous foreign competitors,” he said during a hearing of the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.
Pate warned lawmakers to tread carefully, noting that intellectual property-intensive industries, alone, support $8.1 trillion of the U.S. gross domestic product, generate 27 million jobs and pay employees more than 30 percent more than other industries.

“Sweeping changes to the patent system will have major repercussions in these industries, and threaten the innovative ideas and job growth they generate,” he said, adding that if the Innovation Act was law in 2005, his company would cease to exist today.

Pate was among four company executives who testified at the subcommittee’s hearing, “Patent Reform: Protecting American Innovators and Job Creators from Abusive Patent Litigation.”