Patent Reform Will Undermine US Tech Competitiveness

By Gene Quinn
March 3, 2009

PRESS RELEASE:

Suffern, N.Y., March 4, 2009 – General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading patent licensing and enforcement company providing assistance to small inventors and entrepreneurs throughout the United States, announced its disappointment with the latest Congressional initiatives to reform America’s patent laws. With the nation expecting more from the new Congress and the newly-elected Obama administration, it was hoped that the latest initiatives would have strengthened the nation’s commitment to sustain America’s traditional leadership in technology innovation.

Dr. Alexander Poltorak, chairman and CEO of GPC, says he “strongly believes that while some improvement is needed, the 2009 bill simply attempts to regurgitate the Patent Reform Act of 2007, and it will undermine the core of the U.S. patent system and weaken protection for small inventors, American entrepreneurs and university researchers. Pushed by the same corporate interests that lobbied for the 2007 legislation, the new bill appears to repeat the mistakes of the last two years, and? if passed ? would legislate apportionment of damages and devalue existing patents en mass.”

“Unfortunately,” Dr. Poltorak adds, “the new bill repeats the proposed changes of the Patent Reform Act of 2007, which were passed by the House of Representatives but later stumbled in the Senate. If passed this year, the new bill would replace America’s ‘first to invent’ system ? which favors innovators – with a European-style ‘first to file’ approach that encourages a race to the patent office that rewards large corporations.”

While a handful of high-tech giants support this weakening of patent protection, the smaller high-tech companies ? the true innovators of the industry ? overwhelmingly reject them along with innovators from other industries, not to mention biotech and pharma who will vehemently oppose the bill.

“In our view,” Dr. Poltorak continues, “this legislation will undercut American industry and open the floodgates to pirated products from offshore, clearly betraying small and independent inventors, the backbone of American ingenuity.”

It’s lamentable, says Dr. Poltorak, that these “reform” proposals were hijacked by corporate America and are being mischaracterized as a fight between high-tech giants and big pharma. Small inventors have been squeezed out of the debate, and small high-tech companies, the nation’s true innovators ? who are overwhelmingly pro-patent ? continue to reject this proposal.

Dr. Poltorak, a national expert on the U.S. patent system and a coauthor of two books on intellectual property, also serves as founding president of American Innovators for Patent Reform.  Dr. Poltorak has been involved with patent licensing and enforcement, and intellectual property management for over 20 years.

About General Patent Corporation

General Patent Corporation (GPC), headquartered in Suffern, NY, is a leading IP boutique focusing on patent licensing and patent enforcement, assisting inventors with patent infringement claims. GPC also offers IP strategy, IP valuation, patent brokerage and IP consulting services. For more information about General Patent, please visit www.generalpatent.com.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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