Congressional Watch

A New Era In Patent Law

The main objective of this newsletter is to alert you to the rapidly changing legal environment in United States patent law.

The 2013 American Invents Act (AIA) made sweeping changes in the United States patent law. In the early 1990’s Global Corporations began lobbying Congress to change the United States patent law to conform to the international model based on the 19th Century German patent law. The AIA is the desired result of their lobbying efforts.

Over the course of the next few decades, these changes will affect the way commercially valuable ideas are developed and protected. Will these AIA changes be good for society as a whole? Or will these AIA changes primarily assist the economically powerful? Several of these AIA changes are now being challenged in the courts, and we anticipate that the United States Supreme Court will be making determinations as to the constitutionality of many of these changes.

Those adversely affected by these AIA changes are now lobby Congress to enact legislation that will alleviate hardships caused by these changes. A major concern of our clients is the negative impact patent office grant proceedings have on the ability of startup companies to raise capital to launch a business based on a patented invention. It may be virtually impossible to persuade an investor to risk capital if the patent’s validity can be challenged in such proceedings. Especially since a lawsuit seeking to stop a competitor from selling the patented invention can be stayed until the issue of validity is decided, which could be many years. Consequently, the AIA post grant proceeding in the United States Patent and Trademark Office are a disincentive to invest in any startup companies based on a patented invention.

Click here if you wish to support legislation preventing a patented invention of a small entity from being challenged in post grant proceedings in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Dylan Connors

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