Paper: An Examination of the Economics of the U.S. Patent System
The Consequences of Pending Legislation and Proposed Alternatives
The Patent Act of 1790 granted patents to “he, she, or they” at a cost that even a pauper could afford. At a time when women and blacks could not own property, both could own patents… and both did. In 1809, Mary Kies became the first woman patentee for her invention related to weaving straw hats. In 1821, Thomas L. Jennings became the first black patentee by inventing a method of dry scouring clothes. During the 1800’s, some 3,300 women invented and patented 4,196 inventions and many made their full living by licensing their inventions. The U.S. patent system leveled the field for all regardless of race, gender or economic status.
Largely because of broad-based participation and strong patent rights, iv the U.S. patent system has fueled the greatest economic expansion in the history of man, propelling America to lead the world in virtually every technology revolution, including the one we are in right now. Great inventors like Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and others like Mary Kies and Thomas L. Jennings, inspired generations of inventors. The rich history of the U.S. patent system, the value to our economy, and its promise to each of us is the heart and soul of America.
Today, the U.S. patent system is under a lethal legislative attack v encouraged by the lobbying and public relations efforts of large corporations. This attack is ostensibly directed at the problem of so-called “patent trolls” for the benefit of small businesses. Incredibly, data supporting this legislation are fabricated and secret, and then false conclusions based on that data are repeated so often that it appears true. It is, however, not true.
Nonetheless, the anti-troll legislation currently rocketing through Congress will levy its damage on the patent system in general – disabling it for independent inventors and small businesses for the benefit of large corporations. The legislation will damage the investment qualities of patents, which will make it impossible for the large majority of independent inventors and small businesses to recover any value of a patent. If passed, current legislation will kill the patent system for most Americans.
To understand how this round of anti-troll legislation will cause such widespread damage, it is necessary to understand the economy of the U.S. patent system.
This paper is directed toward that understanding, along with understanding the so-called “patent troll” situation, and proposes legislation to fix the root of the problem.
See the entire paper here: Proposed Legislation V2_DC_Final (pdf)
Paper submitted by:
- Paul Morinville, Independent Inventor and Entrepreneur
- Randy Landreneau, Founder of Independent Inventors of America
- J. Scott Bechtel, CLP, MSIA, Managing Partner and CEO, AmiCOUR IP Group, LLC
- Department of Commerce Publishes Green Paper on Updating Copyright Policies
- USPTO to Publish New Claim and Continuation Rules: Will They Improve Efficiency of Patent Examination?
- Examination Support Document (ESD) Could Add $26,000 to Patent Costs
- Crunch Time For Patent Reform Act
- Manufacturers Ask For Sensible Patent Reform