Former USPTO Director Says Congress Should Leave Patent System Alone
The U.S. patent system has undergone a number of dramatic changes in recent years, including:
- passage and implementation of the 2011 America Invents Act;
- major U.S. Supreme Court cases impacting patent laws;
- new administrative rules by the U.S. Judicial Conference; and
- enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission and States Attorneys General.
In a recent commentary in the legal publication Law360, former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director David J. Kappos called on Congress to forego further sweeping patent legislation and allow the system to absorb and adjust to the changes already made. Kappos wrote:
“…[I]t is now clear that the combination of recent patent law changes has already significantly tilted the scales against legitimate patent holders, making it far more difficult for good-faith innovators to defend their rights.
“Change can be a good thing, and there is no doubt that the patent system has benefited from change in recent years. But there is a point where change is no longer necessary, and worse, where change can be harmful, as where a period of stability is needed instead. The patent system has reached that point. Congress should forego further sweeping patent legislation and allow the system to absorb and adjust to the changes already made.”
We hope Congress is listening and rejects patent-weakening legislation, such as H.R. 9, the Innovation Act, and S. 1137, the PATENT Act. Our nation’s future economic strength and competitiveness depend on it.