US government approves patent bill in effort to reform system

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The U.S. Senate has approved the most substantial changes to the nation's patent system in over 50 years in the form of the America Invents Act, a measure supported by tech titans such as Microsoft, Google and Apple.



The bill received an 89-9 vote on Thursday and will head to the White House to receive President Barack Obama's signature, Bloomberg reports. The legislation would allow the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to set its own fees and give it greater influence over its budget.



?The creativity that drives our economic engine has made America the global leader in invention and innovation,? Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Ver.), who sponsored the measure, said in a statement. ?The America Invents Act will ensure that inventors large and small maintain the competitive edge that has put America at the pinnacle of global innovation.?



The measure is the result of over six years of negotiations and lobbying as legislators have scrutinized the patent system. Microsoft, IBM, and the Coalition for Patent Fairness, which includes tech giants such as Apple, Google and Intel, were in support of the act.



?The America Invents Act, coupled with recent court decisions that provide more clarity and confidence for inventors, puts our patent system in a much better position to spur innovation and economic growth in the 21st century,? said IBM General Counsel Robert Weber.



Even as the Obama administration faces pressure to create jobs, the bill has been touted as "one of the most significant jobs creation bills enacted by Congress this year," according to Representative Lamar Smith, who sponsored the House version of the bill.



Obama referred to the legislation during a speech to a joint session of Congress on Thursday. ?You passed reform that will speed up the outdated patent process, so that entrepreneurs can turn a new idea into a new business as quickly as possible,? he said. ?That?s the kind of action we need.?



However, a group of technology companies had also come out in opposition to the bill. The group, which includes InterDigital, a company known for its wireless-related patents, had said the measure didn't go far enough in guarantee more funding for the patent office. The National Small Business Association has also asserted that the bill will "irreversibly damage" small-business owners and entrepreneurs.



According to the report, the new bill will grant patents to the first inventor to file an application, eliminating a time-intensive process used to determine who came up with an idea first.



Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has been increasingly vocal in its calls for patent reform. In July, General Counsel Kent Walker called patents "government-granted monopolies" that block innovation. Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt said last week that the U.S. patent situation is "terrible" and bad for innovation.



Apple has been more low key in its efforts to effect change in the patent system, though it has spent money lobbying for the cause. Recent filings by Apple reveal that it has dedicated a portion of its lobbying funds to urging the government to enact patent reforms. The company spent $560,000 on lobbying in the first quarter of this year and increased the amount to $790,000 in the second quarter, more than double what it spent in the same period last year, according to the Associated Press.



The iPhone maker is currently locked in several high-profile patent disputes with its competitors, including Samsung, HTC and Motorola.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    Quote:

    "America, the global leader in invention and innovation"



    Dream on!
  • Reply 2 of 43
    kpomkpom Posts: 616member
    I'm not very happy about this bill, since it changes 2 centuries of precedent in switching the US from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system of awarding patents. It hurts small inventors, who have often been the most innovative. The inventor of the MRI told the WSJ earlier this week that it's possible it wouldn't have been invented under the new system. The problem is that small inventors often need to find funding in order to pay the filing costs, which can be substantial. Now they will be reluctant to shop their invention around out of fear that someone else will steal their idea and file first.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    I suggested this fix last month.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The National Small Business Association has also asserted that the bill will "irreversibly damage" small-business owners and entrepreneurs.



    According to the report, the new bill will grant patents to the first inventor to file an application, eliminating a time-intensive process used to determine who came up with an idea first.



    I don't pretend to understand all the various implications of the new "Race to the Office" priority scheme. But if huge mega-corporations like Apple and Microsoft are in favor, and the SBA is opposed, I can't immediately conclude that it is a good idea.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    OBAMA = One Big Ass Mistake America
  • Reply 6 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalpen View Post


    OBAMA = One Big Ass Mistake America



    Here we go. It's not exactly as if they had other choices. However, I now believe that Ron Paul should (if all is right in the universe) win this time around. Going from a very young pres to a very old one. I always ignored that guy but his recent speech really got me, and as an Irish non-American person I realised that Ron Paul is truly America at its best and representative of the America I remember loving as a naive world-loving kid.



    The Obama presidency was probably more important than we all realise though. It was America saying to itself loudly and proudly: "down with racism". And it marked a milestone in American history. Even if his actual presidency didn't live up to the hype and he didn't keep the promises he said he would.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I suggested this fix last month.



    Spot on! Use it or lose it would be a good start...
  • Reply 8 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Here we go. It's not exactly as if they had other choices. However, I now believe that Ron Paul should (if all is right in the universe) win this time around. Going from a very young pres to a very old one. I always ignored that guy but his recent speech really got me, and as an Irish non-American person I realised that Ron Paul is truly America at its best and representative of the America I remember loving as a naive world-loving kid. ...



    As an American person, I have to say that you don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about. Ron Paul represents everything that is wrong with America and is dragging it down into the gutter: selfishness, immaturity of thought, emotionally appealing (to some) ideas that are stupid. Libertarianism is a self contradictory "philosophy" that's simply a rationalization for letting the rich and powerful run amok and is antithetical to democracy.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    As an American person, I have to say that you don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about.



    I have my opinion, you have yours. That fact that you can't even acknowledge that leads me to think it's you who have no idea what you are talking about. America's standing in the world is easier to see from the other side. I stated my opinions on Ron Paul. F*** y** for stamping all over them.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    If your first to file a patent, and never actually built the thing. Does the patent file stay valid for a certain amount of time?
  • Reply 11 of 43
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slapppy View Post


    If your first to file a patent, and never actually built the thing. Does the patent file stay valid for a certain amount of time?



    Yes. It stays valid for the same amount of time. Building the thing is not relevant.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    Yes. It stays valid for the same amount of time. Building the thing is not relevant.



    Thanks. I don't understand the system and was curious if you still have to build the patent you file to keep it valid.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I have my opinion, you have yours. That fact that you can't even acknowledge that leads me to think it's you who have no idea what you are talking about. America's standing in the world is easier to see from the other side. I stated my opinions on Ron Paul. F*** y** for stamping all over them.



    But, the whole idea of libertarianism is that everyone can do whatever they want, yet, you get angry when they do.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... The legislation would allow the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to set its own fees and give it greater influence over its budget. ..



    This is by no stretch of the imagination ... "patent reform."



    "Patent Reform" is generally considered shorthand for Patent Law Reform.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    ... Ron Paul should (if all is right in the universe) win this time around. Going from a very young pres to a very old one. I always ignored that guy but his recent speech really got me, and as an Irish non-American person I realised that Ron Paul is truly America at its best and representative of the America I remember loving as a naive world-loving kid. ...



    Naive indeed.



    Ron Paul is a card carrying wing-nut. His ideas, implemented, would drive the US economy back to the stone age and set Democracy back hundreds of years.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    gustavgustav Posts: 823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slapppy View Post


    Thanks. I don't understand the system and was curious if you still have to build the patent you file to keep it valid.



    The hard work is the research to come up with the idea and flesh it out into a process. Not to take it to market. If I develop a system that does absolutely perfect speech recognition and synthesis, but don't have the funds to market it, that doesn't mean any company should be free to take my idea without compensating me.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    gustavgustav Posts: 823member
    I'd like to see real patent reform where a patent is not granted until judged by experts in the field and still has a chance to be invalidated, again, judged by experts. Patent officers should be responsible for assembling the panel of experts fairly, not judging the patent itself.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Or just impeach that lone Federal Judge in East Texas who has single-handedly skewed the US patent system.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    modemode Posts: 163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    As an American person, I have to say that you don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about. Ron Paul represents everything that is wrong with America and is dragging it down into the gutter: selfishness, immaturity of thought, emotionally appealing (to some) ideas that are stupid. Libertarianism is a self contradictory "philosophy" that's simply a rationalization for letting the rich and powerful run amok and is antithetical to democracy.



    Ron Paul is synonymous with The Constitution of The United States of America.

    You either have no idea who Ron Paul is - or no idea what your Constitution is - or possibly both.

    Ron Paul talks about going back to an actual real currency that is sustainable.

    He talks about ending the corrupt Federal Reserve that is nothing more then a group of financial terrorists who usurped your government and counties monetary policy.

    He talks about ending the wars and a foreign policy of policing the world.

    He believes in smaller government and the power of the State being restored.



    Gee, imagine the horror if those things happened.



    There is a term for people who fear liberty and freedom that was once the American Dream - it's called being institutionalized. MSM has done a wonderful job of brainwashing people through fear and security - that they need big brother government.



    A great man from your country once said "he who sacrifices liberty for security deserves neither."

    The reality of the situation in America is thus - Ron Paul 2012 or bust.

    America can not afford another puppet government. Nor can the rest of the world.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,113member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    I'd like to see real patent reform where a patent is not granted until judged by experts in the field and still has a chance to be invalidated, again, judged by experts. Patent officers should be responsible for assembling the panel of experts fairly, not judging the patent itself.



    What makes you think experts aren't evaluating patents now? They have to know enough about patented "prior art" to judge whether the application duplicates existing patents.
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