The solution is to restore the Constitutional, grand bargain: inventors sharing their discovery in exchange for a time-limited exclusive right. Patents held by the original inventor must be protected from unintended harm by policies and rulings that targeted abusive practices by non-inventors.
The USPTO must stop taking back patents from inventors. The PTAB cancels claims in 84% of patents it reviews and inventors do not have the $450,000 necessary to fund a legal defense.
Inventors must be permitted to opt-out of PTAB and defend their patent rights in a traditional court. If the PTAB is reformed such that it is a faster and cheaper alternative to district court, then inventors will voluntarily participate. Courts must prohibit using a patented invention without permission. In Ebay (2006) the Supreme Court held that inventors cannot decide who uses their invention or how it is used. A patent must convey to the inventor true ownership over the rights to their invention, including the right injunctive relief. The Constitution and economic principles mandate that the patent grant to the inventors the exclusive rights to their discoveries. Infringers must not profit by using an invention without permission. Under current law, inventors only receive a “reasonable royalty”, whereas even a willful infringer gets to keep most of their profits from using the invention without authorization. We need to provide for-profit disgorgement from willful infringers who knew or should have known of their violation. In addition, inventors must be entitled to jurisdiction in their home district; expedited and streamlined judicial proceedings; simplified damages; and recovery of attorney fees that substantially exceed damages awarded.
WHAT IS THE INVENTOR RIGHTS ACT?
This legislation restores patent protection for inventors and mitigates a generation of laws, regulations, and court decisions that have discouraged innovation by failing to secure to inventors the exclusive rights to their discoveries.
This bill preserves the status quo with respect to non-inventors while restoring reliable and enforceable patent rights to genuine inventors.
To encourage inventors to participate in the grand bargain – sharing their discoveries in exchange for a time-limited exclusive right – patents owned by the original inventor must be protected from unintended harm of policies and rulings that targeted abusive practices by non-inventors.
USPTO MAY NOT CONDUCT AN INTER PARTES REVIEW OF AN ISSUED PATENT WITHOUT CONSENT OF THE INVENTOR
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has cancelled claims in 84% of the 2,500+ patents reviewed since 2011 and most inventors do not have a half a million dollars necessary to fund a legal defense. Under this bill inventors who own their own patent will be permitted to opt out of PTAB. Accused infringers will have the right to challenge validity in a regular court of law, which is how the U.S. patent system worked for our first 190 years. If the PTAB is reformed such that it is a faster and cheaper alternative to district court, then inventors will voluntarily participate
INFRINGERS MUST NOT PROFIT BY USING AN INVENTION WITHOUT PERMISSION
Under current law, inventors usually only receive a “reasonable royalty”, while even a willful infringer gets to keep most of their profits from using the invention without permission. This bill disgorges all of the profits from willful infringers who knew or should have known of their violation of a patent owned by the original inventor. This remedy is consistent with other forms of intellectual property including design patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
In addition, inventors that own their own patent will be entitled to:
- injunctions to prohibit unauthorized use of the invention
- the right to file suit in their home district
- recovery of attorney fees that substantially exceed the amount of damages awarded.