Legislative Recommendation for the SUCCESS Act: Recognize the Inventor
Pursuant to the 2018 SUCCESS Act, Congress directed the USPTO to submit to it a report on the results of a study that provides legislative recommendations for how to increase the number of women, minorities, and veterans who apply for and obtain patents. To help gather information as part of its study, the USPTO opened its doors for public comment on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in one of three scheduled hearings. Five inventors spoke at this hearing. I was honored to be one of them. Patricia Duran spoke first, providing testimony in Spanish while I read the English translation. Duran expressed appreciation for the SUCCESS Act’s intent, but quickly set the tone with this question: “What good is a patent if one cannot feasibly defend it?” She added that “women, minorities, and veterans all reside in the same category with other independent inventors, and this class—the independent inventors—is the true underrepresented class.” She was not alone. Three other inventors who provided oral testimony stated that all independent inventors are underrepresented in today’s patent system, which I found interesting, given that they all belonged to the classes at issue: women, minorities, and/or veterans.