Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, April 04, 2011

Harmonization Will Kill Innovation

Today I'm going to tell you some specifics of why the proposed law called patent reform is not reform at all, but it a betrayal of American inventors. The globalists tell us that Americans should harmonize our laws about granting patents with the rest of the world. Actually, it's a betrayal of American inventors to harmonize our system down to inferior foreign practices; we should encourage foreign countries to harmonize up to our better system.This misnamed patent reform bill would replace our current system called first-to-invent with a foreign system called first-to-file. That would grant the patent to the first one to file an application at the U.S. Patent Office, even if another person actually created the invention first. That change would create a race to the Patent Office, rewarding the one who files the fastest paper. The globalists claim that this will facilitate deciding who is the real inventor. However, under our current first-to-invent system, there is no problem in determining who is the inventor. Last year there were only 47 cases out of 500,000 patent applications that challenged who was the inventor. The core principle of our system is awarding the patent to the true inventor. It's wrong, and probably unconstitutional, to take that away.

A large part of invention is trying out a vast number of ideas, such as Edison with thousands of light bulb filaments and the Wright Brothers with many wing shapes. First-to-file means flooding the Patent Office with dead-end applications. Another unfair and biased aspects of the bill in Congress is that not a single practicing inventor or representative of small business was called to testify during five years of Senate hearings on patents.

The first-to-invent system has served us well. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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