By: Josh Sloat
Illustration: Declan Wrede
Patent Reform Solutions
In this month’s episode, we’re talking about the patent reform solutions needed to save the innovation economy, with the revolutionaries who are leading the charge!
Over the course of the past couple of months, we've had the opportunity and honor to host conversations with thought leaders across the patent world:
Working from their insights, this episode explores the biggest problems plaguing patenting and how those problems impact the innovation economy that so very tightly depends on strong, predictable, and reliable patents. Building on that understanding, we work toward getting a more complete view of the legislative, judicial, and educational solutions needed to get back to the gold standard patent system. In doing so, we not only talk with our guests about their support for the proposed solutions on the table, but we also explore the strongest criticisms.
Patent System at the Precipice
Nearly two decades worth of Federal Circuit and Supreme Court rulings have thrown the patent system into disarray and weakened patent rights for inventors. Subject matter eligibility is a confused, chaotic mess – leaving even the Federal Circuit Chief Justice at a loss on how to determine eligibility. The muddied state of invention enablement puts at risk the software innovations fueling economic growth and the key life science innovations that can save lives. Court interventions on injunctions have made it all but impossible for patent owners to stop others from using their property rights without permission, turning predatory infringement into an efficient business model. This already perfect storm was compounded by an act of Congress a decade ago that inadvertently created a patent killing machine that has weaponized the patent office against inventors. This has all been bolstered domestically by the deep pocketed marketing and lobbying campaigns of a big tech industry that is now destroying the ladder it once climbed up on. Amplifying the threats within and heightening the sense of urgency for solutions, international exploitation in an undeclared cold war has led to one of the greatest wealth transfers in human history – and begs the existential question of who is going to develop the technologies of tomorrow.
Revolutionaries on Reform
The problems are many and the stakes couldn't be higher, but hope is far from lost! With the help of our guests who are working tirelessly toward undoing the evisceration of our patent system, we explore the virtues and viabilities of a wide array of potential solutions to the biggest problems plaguing patenting:
The Innovation Race
We’ve been wanting to do a patent reform focused episode like this for a long time, particularly since we covered US Inventor’s 2021 Decade of Stolen Dreams rallies with our American Inventor Horror Story episode – it was then that we truly witnessed firsthand just how devastating the America Invents Act and the PTAB have been for inventors. Flash forward a couple of years to present, and the makers of a new documentary entitled, “The Innovation Race” reached out to us to screen their film.
With bipartisan interviews with folks like Senator Chris Coons from Delaware and Representative Thomas Massie from Kentucky, combined with a myriad of inventors, judges, generals, law professors, and policy experts, several of whom you’ll hear from today, the movie breaks down this systematic erosion of intellectual property rights and explains the imminent economic and national security threats of China exploiting these weaknesses in US patent protection. You can find options for streaming and learn more at innovationracemovie.com. The end of the film, which touches on solutions, provides a launching point for our discussion today.
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Ashley Sloat, Ph.D.
Startups have a unique set of patent strategy needs - so let this blog be a resource to you as you embark on your patent strategy journey.