Senator Coons, Acting Director Matal give Keynote at IAM Patent Policy Conference
The second (lunch) keynote was from a patent fan: Senator Chris Coons (D-DE). By now, I have heard him speak on several occasions and it is always welcome to be reminded that the patent system has an advocate on the Hill. If only more could be recruited to his point of view. He spoke of the constitutional pedigree of our patent system, how well it has worked to achieve it goals over the years, and how the system has been steadily undermined in recent years. He gave a cogent summary of the Supreme Court harpooning of the patent system: eBay: no injunctive relief; Bilski: software tossed aside; Mayo: diagnostics sidelined; Myriad: discoveries eliminated; Alice: finishing off what Bilski started. Combine this with the AIA, and you have a rout. The only solution going forward is for Congress to address these issues. Waiting for the Courts is too too slow, and potentially fatal to the system as users sign-off, and the initiative in technology lost to others who have maintained and improved protection for the same subject matter.