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I recently had the pleasure to sit on a panel with a number of incredible inventors and leaders on innovation issues in an experience that was both inspiring and infuriating. Discussing a new documentary on the patent system – Invalidated: The Shredding of the US Patent System – which I had the honor of being interviewed for, we discussed the state of the patent system and American innovation.
I was inspired by these inventors who joined, and others who participated in this movie. Through ingenuity, creativity and persistence they have created inventions that save lives, increase productivity, make life easier or simply bring joy to our lives. The success of their inventions often takes years, emptying of savings accounts and other tremendous sacrifices. Our system of property protection – through the granting of patents - rewards those risks by guaranteeing the right to benefit from your invention.
Frustration - Stories - Inventors - Patent - System
The frustration comes in the stories these inventors told of how they believed in the patent system, played by the rules and still had their rights denied. This undermining of their rights has largely come at the hands of an overreaching administrative tribunal known as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). An agency created by a previous congressional patent "reform" that was supposed to bring efficiency to patent reviews. Instead it's created a parallel patent review process that is tilted against patents holders and has become known as a "patent death squad" with invalidation rates near 90% in some cases.
PTAB allows anyone—anywhere in the world—to file a petition to invalidate any U.S. patent as long as the challenger is willing to pay a filling fee. The tribunal's review doesn't offer patent owners the same legal procedural protections and standards of proof as a court of law, and the tribunal can invalidate any patent challenged...
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