On October 7th, 2015, the Innovation Alliance and Save the Inventor hosted a Google Hangout to discuss pending patent legislation and the danger it poses for American inventors.
Gene Quinn, patent attorney and founder of IPWatchdog.com, moderated a conversation with U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), U.S. Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Louis Foreman, inventor and founder of Edison Nation.
The conversation touched on many of the misperceptions around the patent debate and proposed “reforms.” Both the Innovation Act (H.R.9) and the PATENT Act (S.1137) were discussed in detail, including the harmful impact of provisions like customer stay and mandatory fee shifting. All three participants explained why they don’t support these bills. They also reinforced the importance of keeping a strong patent system to continue promoting innovation in this country.
If you missed the Hangout, you can watch it on our YouTube channel at the link below. Please spread the word about the Hangout video and tweet about any comments that resonate with you! And please keep the conversation going at #PatentsMatter.
Some highlights from the conversation:
“This really isn’t about party politics; this is about whether or not you think patents are essential and being able to defend those patents is essential to the vibrancy of our innovation system.”
– U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
“There’s a big misperception about patents that I run up against here in Congress. Some people think they’re to protect the big companies and nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, the big companies have the advantage of size, they have the marketing channels, they’ve got the manufacturing, and they’ve scaled up. It’s the little guy that patents protect. The garage inventors who come up with things, and this was me in the beginning, and you go to tradeshows and you got a little 4x8 table because that’s all you can afford and you show the world your brand new idea and there’s a buzz at the tradeshow and your product would be copied within six months by all the big companies if you didn’t have a patent. Patents are there to give the little guys a chance in that market.”
– U.S. Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY)
“The independent inventor feels left out of the process. This is a battle of big companies trying to weaken the patent system and make it easier for them to just infringe on the rights of independent inventors, when the reality is that many of these companies started with a patent. They were a startup.”
– Louis Foreman, inventor and founder of Edison Nation
“[Protecting the innocent consumer from frivolous lawsuits] is a very noble thing to try and solve but that’s not how the legislation is written. It really needs a flyswatter, not the elephant shotgun and that seems like the approach that they’ve been taking is just to pull out an elephant shotgun to kill the mosquito.
– Gene Quinn, patent attorney and founder of IPWatchdog.com