Legislation to Protect USPTO from Sequestration

Three Congressional Members from California, Honda, Lofgren, and Eshoo, have proposed legislation to protect the United States Patent Office (USPTO) from sequestration.  The Act is designated as the "Patents and Trademarks Encourage New Technology Jobs Act" or "PATENT Jobs Act" for short.  In summary the bill would protect the USPTO from being subject to sequester cuts currently requiring $150 million in the agency's funding.

The USPTO is entirely funded by fees paid by patent filers as such it does not fall into the same government spending as other areas of government.  These fees are used solely to carry out USPTO operations hence they should not be appropriated for other areas of government.  This bill would prevent sequestration of USPTO revenues.

The bill found bipartisan support from members of the California delegation to the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, they submitted a bipartisan letter to the committee: LETTER

Congressional Representative Mike Honda comments:  LINK

Of Trolls and Treasures

The House Judiciary committee held hearings last week (3/13/2013) regarding comments on the new "Shield Act".  The Shield Act is designed to address so called "Patent Trolls" and protect, or as the bill states "Saving High-Tech Innovators" from the ugly ole' trolls.  In a recent article we presented a perspective on the issue HERE and further commentary on the details of the basis upon which the new "Shield Act" has been written, in short, it is based upon biased and "secret data" as provided in a recent article by Adam Mossoff at Truth on The Market HERE.  Mossoff indicates that the $29 Billion price tag given for "Egregious Legal Disputes" was from a "secret survey" done by RPX, a company that makes its money by defending companies against "Patent Trolls."  Not exactly scientific and along with that neither the data nor the study has been published.

At the base of all of this is the definition of a Patent as "Property".  If an inventor, large or small, has an issued patent then by law it is "Intellectual Property" and the owner has rights and the ability under the law to enforce those rights.  Some will point to "bad patents" in connection with "Patent Trolls" however one has nothing to do with the other.  If a patent is "bad" or invalid that should be addressed through the normal course of the patent prosecution at the USPTO and there are already measures in place for those issues.  However, one cannot simply say that because an inventor is deemed a "Non-Practicing-Entity" (NPE), i.e. a "Patent Troll", that they are unworthy of ownership rights by rhetoric alone.  This is a slippery slope that if allowed to continue may render patents worthless and truly stifle innovation.  We pointed this out in another article HERE showing just how strange some logic can get when Google simply states that Apple should simply give its property away because they are just too successful!  Isn't that the point, to innovate and be successful?

SHIELD ACT vs PATENT TROLLS

Judiciary Subcommittee is holding hearings on Abusive Patent Litigation regarding the SHIELD Act, H.R. 845, today with the following list of
witnesses included: Cisco Systems, Inc.; J.C. Penney Company Inc.; SAS Institute, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Adobe Systems, Inc.

The U.S. House of Representatives has introduced H.R. 845 (Ref HR 6245 of 112th Congress) known as the "Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act of 2013" designed to address the "Patent Troll" issue relating to frivolous law patent infringement law suits.  The amendment to chapter 29 of title 35, United States Code, is designed to provide for the recovery of patent litigation costs, and for other purposes.  The text of the of the bill is provided below and a PDF of the bill can be downloaded HERE.

[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 845 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 845

To amend chapter 29 of title 35, United States Code, to provide for the 
      recovery of patent litigation costs, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 27, 2013

  Mr. DeFazio (for himself and Mr. Chaffetz) introduced the following 
       bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend chapter 29 of title 35, United States Code, to provide for the 
      recovery of patent litigation costs, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Saving High-Tech Innovators from 
Egregious Legal Disputes Act of 2013''.

SEC. 2. RECOVERY OF LITIGATION COSTS.

    (a) Amendment.--Chapter 29 of title 35, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting after section 285 the following new section:
``Sec. 285A. Recovery of litigation costs
    ``(a) In General.--In an action involving the validity or 
infringement of a patent--
            ``(1) a party asserting invalidity or noninfringement may 
        move for judgment that the adverse party does not meet at least 
        one of the conditions described in subsection (d);
            ``(2) not later than 90 days after a party has moved for 
        the judgment described in paragraph (1), the adverse party 
        shall be provided an opportunity to prove such party meets at 
        least one of the conditions described in subsection (d);
            ``(3) as soon as practicable after the adverse party has 
        been provided an opportunity to respond under paragraph (2), 
        but not later than 120 days after a party has moved for the 
        judgment described in paragraph (1), the court shall make a 
        determination whether the adverse party meets at least one of 
        the conditions described in subsection (d); and
            ``(4) notwithstanding section 285, the Court shall award 
        the recovery of full costs to any prevailing party asserting 
        invalidity or noninfringement, including reasonable attorney's 
        fees, other than the United States, upon the entry of a final 
        judgment if the court determines that the adverse party did not 
        meet at least one of the conditions described in subsection 
        (d), unless the court finds that exceptional circumstances make 
        an award unjust.
    ``(b) Bond Required.--Any party that fails to meet a condition 
under subsection (a)(3) shall be required to post a bond in an amount 
determined by the court to cover the recovery of full costs described 
in subsection (a)(4).
    ``(c) Timing and Effect of Pending Motion.--With respect to any 
motion made pursuant to subsection (a)(1) the following applies:
            ``(1) In the case of a motion that is filed before the 
        moving party's initial disclosure are due--
                    ``(A) the court shall limit any discovery to 
                discovery that is necessary for the disposition of the 
                motion; and
                    ``(B) the court may delay issuing any scheduling 
                order until after ruling on the motion.
            ``(2) In the case of a motion that is filed after the 
        moving party's initial disclosures are due the court may delay 
        ruling on the motion until after the entry of final judgment.
            ``(3) In the case of a motion that is filed after the entry 
        of final judgment, any such motion must be combined with a 
        motion for fees to the prevailing party.
    ``(d) Condition Defined.--For purposes of this section, a 
`condition' means, with respect to the party alleging infringement, any 
of the following:
            ``(1) Original inventor.--Such party is the inventor, a 
        joint inventor, or in the case of a patent filed by and awarded 
        to an assignee of the original inventor or joint inventor, the 
        original assignee of the patent.
            ``(2) Exploitation of the patent.--Such party can provide 
        documentation to the court of substantial investment made by 
        such party in the exploitation of the patent through production 
        or sale of an item covered by the patent.
            ``(3) University or technology transfer organization.--Such 
        party is--
                    ``(A) an institution of higher education (as that 
                term is defined in section 101 of the Higher Education 
                Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001); or
                    ``(B) a technology transfer organization whose 
                primary purpose is to facilitate the commercialization 
                of technology developed by one or more institutions of 
                higher education.''.
    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for 
chapter 29 of title 35, United States Code, is amended by inserting 
after the item relating to section 285 the following new item:

        ``285A. Recovery of litigation costs for patent.''.
    (c) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall 
take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to 
any action involving the validity or infringement of a patent for which 
a complaint is filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today published final rules of practice implementing the first-inventor-to-file provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA).  The provision, one of the hallmarks of the AIA, is a major step towards harmonization of the U.S. patent system with those of the United States’ major trading partners, allowing greater consistency in the prosecution and enforcement of U.S. patents. The AIA also includes safeguards to ensure that only an original inventor or his assignee may be awarded a patent under the first-inventor-to-file system. The first-inventor-to-file provision of the AIA goes into effect on March 16, 2013, and represents the final implementation of the changes mandated by the AIA.

Read more: http://www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2013/13-10.jsp

New Patent Fees are scheduled to become effective on March 19, 2013

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) sets or adjusts patent fees in this rulemaking as authorized by Section 10 of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (Act or AIA). Section 10 prescribes that fees may be set or adjusted only to recover the aggregate estimated costs to the Office for processing, activities, services, and materials relating to patents, including administrative costs to the Office with respect to such patent operations.  Section 10 authority includes flexibility to set individual fees in a way that furthers key policy considerations, while taking into account the cost of the respective services.  See Section 10 of the Act, Public Law 112-29, 125 Stat. at 316-17. Section 10 also establishes certain procedural requirements for setting or adjusting fee regulations, such as public hearings and input from the Patent Public Advisory Committee and oversight by Congress.

The fees will provide the Office with a sufficient amount of aggregate revenue to recover its aggregate cost of patent operations, while helping the Office implement a sustainable funding model, reduce the current patent application backlog, decrease patent application pendency, improve patent quality, and upgrade the Office's patent business information technology (IT) capability and infrastructure.

This final rule sets or adjusts 351 patent fee where 93 apply to large entities, 94 to small entities, 93 to micro entities, and 71 are not entity-specific.  Also, despite increases in some fees, applicants who meet the new micro entity definition will pay less than the amount paid for small entity fees under the current fee schedule for 87 percent of the fees eligible for a discount under section 10(b).

Another stated objective of the fee setting is to encourage innovators to take advantage of patent protection, the Office sets basic ‘‘front-end’’ fees (e.g., filing, search, and examination) below the actual cost of carrying out these activities. The Office provides fee reductions for small and micro entity innovators to facilitate access to the patent system. Setting front-end and small and micro entity fees below cost requires, however, that other fees be set above cost. To that end, the Office sets basic ‘‘back-end’’ fees (e.g., issue and maintenance) in excess of costs to recoup revenue not collected by front-end and small and micro entity fees. Charging higher back-end fees also fosters innovation and benefits the overall patent system. After a patent is granted, a patent owner is better positioned, as opposed to at the time of filing a patent application, to more closely assess the expected value of an invention, which is a consideration in determining whether to pay maintenance fees to keep the patent protecting the invention in force. Expiration of a patent makes the subject matter of the patent available in the public domain for subsequent commercialization. Determining the appropriate balance between front-end and back-end fees is a critical component of aligning the Office’s costs and revenues.

Summary of New Fee Structure Includes:

See full comparison of Fee Changes Here:  USPTO-Fees

  • Micro Entity Fee: 75% reduction of fees set under Section 10(a) including filing, searching, examining, issuing, appealing, and maintaining patent applications and patents. (universities qualify as Micro Entity)
  • Small Entity Fee: 50% reduction of fees set under Section 10(a) including filing, searching, examining, issuing, appealing, and maintaining patent applications and patents.
  • Issue Fees: $960 (Note: $300 publication fee eliminated)  However, these fee changes will not be implemented until January 2014
  • Maintenance Fees:
    • First Fee at 3 ½ years: $1,150 to $1,600.
    • Second Fee at 7 ½ years: $2,900 to $3,600.
    • Third Fee at 11 ½ years: $4,810 to $7,400.
  • Claim Fees:
    • Greater than 3 Independent Claims:  $420 per claim
    • Greater than 20 Total Claims:  $80 per claim
  • RCE Fees: $1,200 along with a surcharge of $500 for as second RCE filing
  • Appeals: New surcharge of $2,000 for forwarding the brief to the PTAB rather than settling with the examiner.
  • Ex Parte Reexamination: $12,000, small and micro entity privileges apply
  • Inter Partes Reviews: $23,000 with a $14,000 refund if IPR petition is rejected
  • Post Grant Reviews: $30,000 with a $18,000 refund if IPR petition is rejected
  • Derivation Petition: $400
  • Assignments: Free if submitted electronically

Design patent fees are also changing:

  • Total Filing Fees: $760
  • Issue Fee: $560

Details from the Federal Register:  Link

 

On January 14th, 2013 H.R. 6621, "An Act to correct and improve certain provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and title 35, United States Code," was signed into law.

Some News and Reactions

http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2013/01/aia-technical-amendment-becomes-law.html

Read the Bill:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr6621enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr6621enr.pdf

Corrections to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and title 35, United States Code

112th Congress, 2nd Session H.R. 6621

H.R. 6621 was introduced to make corrections to certain provisions of the Leahy-Smith "America Invents Act" (AIA) and it passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 308-89.

See the Bill Here

First Inventor to File means Keep Quiet!

We have highlighted the patent process and new changes to it via the AIA (America Invents Act) and some of the effects it can have on small entities.   Though the patent process is evolving and complex there is one important thing that can be done by any inventor, big or small, and that is to keep your ideas quiet.

Now, given that we have transitioned to a First-Inventor-to-File (FItF) system like the rest of the world, along with other changes we won't detail here, silence truly has become golden.  The following article indicates that big things can come from simple things like an overheard conversation.  It involves the case of Dr. Warren Selman, who overheard a conversation between two Israel Air Force officers one day.

Granted, the outcome in this case was positive for those involved.  However, one need not think too hard to see that casual chatter about your idea can give others, who may not engage with you like Dr. Selman did in this case, the chance to develop the idea or at the very least a competitive idea by themselves simply by beating you to the patent office!

Overheard in a coffee shop: A better way to do brain surgery, based on Israeli simulation technology

Google Says, "Apple needs to Share!"

http://allthingsd.com/20120720/google-claims-popularity-has-made-some-apple-patents-de-facto-essentials/

Is Google going to hand over it's proprietary search algorithms due to it's more than ubiquitous use by billions of people around the globe?  This is strange logic.  How can a large company such as Google think it can simply state that another companies hard work and investment should be considered as free to those who wish to use it?  This is a disturbing trend and one with no small level of foretelling from the America Invents Act.  Is it possible that corporations such as Google have been emboldened by the large company leanings of the AIA?  There is a clear favorite in the race to innovate in regards to the AIA and it is not the small inventor.

In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Google General Counsel Kent Walker wrote:

While collaborative [Standards Setting Organizations (SSOs)] play an important part in the overall standard setting system, and are particularly prominent in industries such as telecommunications, they are not the only source of standards. Indeed, many of the same interoperability benefits that the FTC and others have touted in the SSO context also occur when one firm publishes information about an otherwise proprietary standard and other firms then independently decide (whether by choice or of necessity) to make complementary investments to support that standard in their products. … Because proprietary or de facto standards can have just as important effects on consumer welfare, the Committee’s concern regarding the abuse of SEPs should encompass them as well.

As Sewell writes:

The capabilities of an iPhone are categorically different from a conventional phone, and result from Apple’s ability to bring its traditional innovation in computing to the mobile market. Using an iPhone to take photos, manage a home-finance spreadsheet, play video games, or run countless other applications has nothing to do with standardized protocols. Apple spent billions in research and development to create the iPhone, and third party software developers have spent billions more to develop applications that run on it. The price of an iPhone reflects the value of these nonstandardized technologies — as well as the value of the aesthetic design of the iPhone, which also reflects immense study and development by Apple, and which is entirely unrelated to standards.

NTP gets it right.

Patent licensing company NTP, best known for a big settlement with Research In Motion, has reached a deal with most of the rest of the wireless industry.

NTP said Monday it “has reached a mutual resolution with 13 companies,” including all four major U.S. cell phone carriers; device makers including Apple, HTC, Motorola, Samsung and LG; as well as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. NTP sued the carriers in 2007 and and filed more suits in 2010.

Details on the pact are fuzzy, with a press release from NTP not even saying that the company is getting money, let alone how much. NTP got more than $600 million from RIM after a protracted legal battle.

NTP’s outside lawyer, Ron Epstein, told AllThingsD that his client was compensated but didn’t offer any details on the amount the company received.

“NTP was happy with the outcome,” said Epstein, who heads Redwood City, Calif.-based Epicenter IP Group. The deal, NTP said, provides broad coverage for all parties to NTP’s patents, including eight related to wireless delivery of email. NTP’s suits, which had been on hold, have now been dismissed.

With the pact — and past deals with Nokia and RIM — NTP has now reached licensing agreements with most of the wireless industry, though there are still a few firms Epstein says the company is approaching about licenses.

What’s unique about the deal, Epstein said, was the fact that NTP managed to get all of the parties to come together and work out a single settlement. That, he said, was a first in his 20 years of practicing patent law.

“We believe this is potentially a new model for how these significant patent portfolios might be licensed,” Epstein said.

http://allthingsd.com/20120723/ntp-inks-patent-pact-with-apple-google-att-and-well-most-of-the-mobile-industry/

Guide to History of America Invents Act

Joe Matal, Judiciary Committee Counsel to Senator Jon Kyl, recently published a comprehensive guide to the legislative history of the AIA in the Federal Circuit Bar Journal.  Part I addresses the portions of the AIA that relate to applications before a patent issues, while Part II deals with the portions that apply after a patent is granted.

Other Papers by Joe Matal

Part I of II

U.S. Senate, 2012; 21 Fed. Cir. B.J. 435 (2012)

Abstract:

The article examines the origins and the legislative commentary on the provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a comprehensive patent-reform law that was enacted on September 16, 2011. The AIA adopts the first-to-file system of patent priority, modifies the defintion of prior art, and creates several new post-issuance administrative proceedings and amends existing proceedings. Part I of the article focuses on the AIA's changes to sections 102 and 103 of title 35 and related issues. The article is organized by the sections of title 35 that are significantly amended by the AIA, and then by the uncodified sections of the AIA.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2064740

Part II of II

U.S. Senate, 2012; 21 Fed. Cir. B.J. 539 (2012)

Abstract:

This article is the second in a two-part series examining the origins and the legislative commentary on the provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This second article addresses the AIA's enactment of a prior-user right, its repeal of the false-marking qui tam action and the best-mode defense and the 1952 Act's deceptive-intent restrictions, its authorization of supplemental examination and post-grant review of patents and special review of business-method patents, its revisions to inter partes proceedings, its limits on joinder of defendants and on use of evidence relating to advice of counsel, its authorization of virtual marking of patents, and its modification of the deadline for seeknig a patent-term extension. The article is organized by the sections of title 35 that are significantly amended by the AIA, and then by the uncodified sections of the AIA.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2088887

USPTO Proposed Fee Modifications

The USPTO, on February 7th 2012, released its proposed fee modifications under the changes through the America Invents Act, AIA.  Details of the proposal that was submitted to the Patent Public Advisory Committee can be found here:

Executive Summary AIA Patent Fee Proposal

Detailed Appendices: AIA Patent Fee Proposal

Review of Design Patent Law Changes

A recent note on the PATENTLYO website mentioned the proposed house bill H.R. 3889 (formerly H.R. 3059): (PARTS) Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales Act, that would affect design patents term of enforcement.  The proposed change would reduce the time period from 14 years to 30 months.  The group Keep Auto Parts Affordable supports the bill and provides some rationale here:  The Looming Threat

Testimony from the Property Casualty Insurers Association can be found here:  Testimony of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America House Judiciary Committee Hearing “Design Patents and Auto Replacement Parts”

We provide the following review on the testimony with selected text from the testimony and added bulleted comments below them.  We feel this topic warrants further discussion as it has potential ramifications beyond the intended purpose.  It sets a potentially dangerous president where intellectual property rights are not equally applied for the same idea or invention.

Senate Approves America Invents Act

The U.S. Senate voted to approve H.R. 1249 "The America Invents Act" by a vote of 89-9.  The bill will now head to President Obama's desk.  He has indicated that he will sign it into law.

The following amendments were voted on by the Senate prior to voting on H.R. 1249 and all were struck down.

Patent Fees to Increase under HR 1249

Most of the provisions of the Leahy-Smith Act will take some time to become effective.  The change to a first-to-file regime from first-to-invent will only apply to patent applications with an "effective filing date" that is 18-months from enactment or thereafter.  Other provisions will take effect almost immediately.  A summary of the bill and all it's sections can be found here:  section_summary_26jul2011.pdf

The following provisions, as stated in the act will take effect almost immediately:

  • Implements 15% surcharge on all patent fees, effective 10 days after enactment
  • Establishes prioritized examination fee of $4,800 (above usual fees) with 50% reduction for small entities, effective 10 days after enactment.
  • Defines “micro entity” (to include universities) and provides for 75% fee reduction for those applicants.

U.S. Senate voting on America Invents Act

The U.S. Senate is currently considering amendments to H.R. 1249, the "America Invents Act of 2011."  The vote is scheduled to come up today at 4:00 pm

Final Amendments Proposed:

i)  Sen. Coburn has proposed an amendment to absolutely prohibit fee diversion — allowing the USPTO to spend the fees it collects.

ii)  H.R. 1249 includes a provision that would retroactively lengthen the deadline for applying for a patent term extension.  Sen. Sessions has proposed an amendment stripping that provision from the bill. This particular provision of the reform has no other purpose than to reinstate the The Medicine Company’s (MDCO’s) patent covering its Angiomax drug.  The law firm WilmerHale is on the hook for substantial malpractice damages due to the filing debacle. These two firms have spent around $20 million lobbying Congress on this issue.

iii)  Sen. Cantwell has proposed separate amendments — The first would eliminate the the business method patent ‘transitional program.’  Failing that, a separate amendment would limit the scope of the program only to “patents claiming abstract business methods” and not to patents covering “technological” or “nonfinancial” inventions.

iv)  Sen. Paul has proposed an amendment to include the statement that “It is the sense of Congress that Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner no longer holds the confidence of Congress or of the people of the United States.”

v)  Sen. Johnson proposed an amendment to limit all regulatory action by any federal agency until the US unemployment rate drops to 7.7%.

 

Venture Capitol Funding impact of America Invents Act

The "America Invents Act" is poised to pass the senate.  A review of the effects of one change to the patent system, the new Post Grant Review process can be found here.  It has the potential for profound impact on Venture Capitol funding.

Post-Grant Review-Our Next Nightmare? VC Perspective

H.R. 1249 America Invents Act

The U.S. Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R.1249, the America Invents Act.  Coverage is on CSPAN-2 scheduled for 10:00 am (Eastern) today when the Senate convenes.

On 9/6/2011 Senate floor actions. Status: Cloture on the motion to proceed to the measure invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 93 - 5.  Cloture is the procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter, and thereby overcome a filibuster. Under the cloture rule (Rule XXII), the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by vote of three-fifths of the full Senate, normally 60 votes.

America Invents Act

The "America Invents Act" or the Patent Reform Bill of 2011 is scheduled for a vote on Tuesday September 6th.  The Senate has agreed to use the House bill H.R. 1249 in leu of it's own bill (S.23).  A good summary and comments can be found at the PatentlyO.com blog site:

Patent Reform 2011: Vote Scheduled At the Conclusion of Labor Day

Google-Motorola, let the Patent Arms Race Begin!

In a recent article entitled Google-Motorola Deal Highlights Patent Arms Race By Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer on Manufacturing.Net - August 18, 2011, we find another discussion on how companies such as Google don't think that patents are valid property in and of themselves.  The core belief is that companies, and by the same logic, individual inventors or small entities, that don't build the products using the technology for which they own patents should basically have no rights in using that patent property to protect their inventions.

Google makes bid for Motorola Mobility and it's Patents

Yesterday, 8-15-2011. Google announced that it had agreed to buy Motorola Mobility to, as CEO Larry Page puts it, Supercharge Android. Along with the mobile phones and other technology another key component of the deal is the acquisition of the Motorola Patent portfolio.

Google seems to find competing in the space of ideas difficult

The new patent reform changes currently under consideration need to be clearly understood by small and medium sized entities.  Even companies the size of Google with all its resources find competing in the space of ideas difficult.  The reason we have patents is to protect the rights of the inventor, big or small.  Google has indicated these rights have value through the recent acquisition of more than 1000 patents from IBM.  They lost out on Nortel's patent portfolio at auction to a consortium of companies including; Apple, Microsoft, Research in Motion, Ericsson, Sony, and EMC.  Why did Google want the Nortel and/or IBM patents?  Back in April, 2011, Google indicated in its online blog posted by Kent Walker, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, (Patents & Innovation) that having patents is a good idea, one can protect one's ideas and property and ward off lawsuits.

A summary of the House vote for amendments to HR 1249

see all amendments here

Click the READMORE link below to see the full summary

The U.S. Congress passes their version of the "America Invents Act"

The U.S. Congress on June 23rd, 2011 passed their version of the "America Invents Act" or H.R. 1249 by a vote of 304-117.  The Senate passed their version, S. 23, in a 95-5 vote back in March.  The two versions of the bill have to be reconciled before a final bill can be sent to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature.  Read more about the latest bill here: Patent Agency Would Gain Control of Funding Under House Measure

America Invents Act H.R. 1249 and S.23

While the current status of the "America Invents Act" (H.R. 1249 & S.23) has a postponement of the Rules Hearing amendments are being filed following the amendment rules for H.R. 1249. A list of the current amendments to H.R. 1249 including a summary of each can be found here.

 

Manager's amendment now included in H.R. 1249

In continuing coverage of the House Patent Reform Act, H.R. 1249, the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives approved the a bill in a 32-3 vote.

Track-1 Prioritized Filing System Starts

A new Patent filing prioritization system, known as Track-1, will begin as of May 4th, 2011.

Patent Reform Bill H.R. 1249

On Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 the United States House of Representatives introdueced their version of the "American Invents Act" aka Patent Reform Act of 2011 (click here for copy of HR1249).

More to come on the reactions and differences between the Senate Bill (S.23) and H.R. 1249.

In-ven-tor  n.  a person who invents

As we continue our review of Senate Bill 23 - Patent Reform Act of 2011 - a key definition to keep in mind is that of Inventor.  Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, the 4.5 inch thick paper version no less, offers the following definition: In-ven-tor  n.  a person who invents, esp. one who devises some new process, appliance, machine, or article; one who makes inventions.

Simple right?

Inventors need to file early under Patent Reform Act

On March 8th, 2011 the U.S. Senate passed the Patent Reform Act of 2011 (S.23) by a vote of 95 - 5.  Now it is on to the House where a similar bill is being crafted.  This is an important bill for small businesses, individual inventors, and Venture Capitalists that invest in intellectual property, to keep tabs on and review.  (Get the full bill document here)

Senate votes on Patent Reform Act

A cloture vote on S23, the Patent Reform Act of 2011, is scheduled for Monday, April 7th, some time after 5:30 pm, which could end debate on this bill.

This bill seeks to amend title 35, United States Code, to provide for patent reform.  We wanted to bring the bill to attention.  One key issue in the bill is the conversion from a First-to-Invent process to a First-to-File.  This alone has ramifications that will affect small businesses and individual inventors.  In the coming days we will follow this and post more feedback.

More information on this critical bill can be found here:  US Senate Bill S23

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