Louis Foreman is the creator, executive producer and lead judge of the Emmy® award-winning PBS reality show Everyday Edisons, which features ordinary people transforming their original ideas into retail products. Foreman is also Chief Executive of Enventys, an integrated product design and engineering firm with offices in Charlotte, NC and Taiwan, as well as the publisher of Inventors Digest, the largest and oldest publication for the inventor community. He is also co-author of The Independent Inventor’s Handbook. Foreman is an inventor himself, holding 10 US patents. So it is fair to say that few people know the trials and tribulations of independent inventors better than Louis does, and Louis Foreman supports patent reform.
Earlier today, Foreman sent the letter reproduced below to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who is Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is the Senate Judiciary Committee that has pending before it S. 515 relating to patent reform. As his letter explains, Foreman supports patent reform because “leaving the current system alone is not an option, nor does it benefit anyone.” Foreman believes the pending patent reform is a “significant improvement” because, among other things, it will lower fees for micro-entities and because it will “ultimately result in a stronger patent making it easier for independent inventors and small businesses to attract start-up capital.”
Like so many of us in the patent community, Foreman hopes that “change does not end here.” The letter makes it clear that it is Foreman’s hope that S. 515 is a first step toward modernizing the Patent Office and reducing the current backlog of patent applications. Lets hope that if and when patent reform is enacted the USPTO specifically, and innovation generally, are not placed on the back burner. The USPTO can only do so much without modernizing its technology infrastructure, and with proper funding and support the USPTO can and will lead the way in supporting small business job creation.
Without further ado, here is Louis Foreman’s letter to Senator Leahy.
April 8, 2010
The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Leahy:
On the Emmy Award winning PBS television show, Everyday Edisons, the show opens with the simple proclamation: Every idea deserves a chance. A chance to change the way we work, the way we live, or the way we play.
Over the past three seasons, tens of thousands of independent inventors have brought their ideas for the chance to have them developed and commercialized on the show. They bring with them not only their prototypes, but their hopes and dreams. These garage tinkerers and problem solvers are what define this country. They are the ones who always believe there has to be a better way, and go out and prove it. They are the true independent inventors.
As executive producer of the PBS series Everyday Edisons and the publisher of Inventors Digest magazine, a 25 year old publication devoted to the independent inventor community, I have met inventors, both famous and soon to be famous. I am moved by their stories of success and also failure. Their optimism fuels their desire to pursue their innovations, knowing that there exists a system to ultimately protect their inventions if they are successful.
As an independent inventor myself, and an advocate for others, I strongly believe that the current leadership at the USPTO is working in the best interests of all inventors, and have thoughtfully and diligently provided the necessary measures to not only protect independent inventors, but to also encourage future pursuits of intellectual property.
Our current system of protecting inventors is in dire need of reform. The proposed measures would be a significant improvement to the existing system and benefit everyone. The reform legislation will lower fees for micro-entities, provide for a shorter waiting time for patent prosecution, and ultimately result in a stronger patent making it easier for independent inventors and small businesses to attract start-up capital.
Change can be frightening, and I can certainly understand why there would be reluctance to address the system. What I fear more, however, is when groups opposed to advancing the system use fear to thwart progress and prevent the benefits associated with change. Sitting still and leaving the current system alone is not an option, nor does it benefit anyone. Pendency must be reduced to allow for an efficient system of protecting intellectual property and stimulating innovation.
While I support the proposed patent reform measures, I am hopeful that change does not end here. This is the time and opportunity to invest in the innovative future of America by providing increased funding to the USPTO to reduce the current backlog by modernizing the systems and technologies used to process applications.
Innovation benefits everyone and leads to the creation of new jobs and new industries; however, none of this occurs without execution. Innovation requires an idea along with an investment of time and resources. Patent reform is no different. This country has the unique opportunity to tune-up the engine of innovation and use it to drive this country forward.
It is my sincere hope that you will listen to the voice of the true independent inventor community and answer their call for change. Like so many others, I stand ready to assist. I would welcome the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas in more depth should that be viewed as helpful.
Louis J. Foreman