TIA in Washington DC 2019
Much has been accomplished in the past weeks. Read ahead to hear about how inventors from across the country stormed Capitol Hill.
At one of over fifty meetings that were held with congressmen and their staffers, Josh Malone holds his invention Bunch o Balloons alongside the egregious knock-off.
On September 11, twenty-nine inventor leaders from twenty-one different states gathered at Capitol Hill to meet with their Representatives and Senators, attend a congressional briefing, and participate in a convention held by the USPTO. Each attendee is a leader or member of a prominent inventor organization back home.
Attendees included: Don Skaggs, President of the Inventors Network of Kentucky, Richard Waters, President of the Tennessee Inventors Association, James Stevens, President of Music City Inventors, Laura Myers, President of the Inventors Association of Arizona, Dr. James Lindsey, Legislative Liason of the Inventors Association of Arizona, Keith Shuman, Board Member of the Inventors Association of Arizona, Jim Slaughter, President of the Inventors Forum of Orange County, Ruth Young, delegate from the San Diego Inventors Forum, Matt Stieg, President of Edison Innovators Association of Florida, Shervin Ahmady, Founder of the Southeastern Inventors Association, Steve Lyon, President of the Inventors Network of Minnesota, Jeff Hardin, delegate from the Houston Inventors Association, Sam Wechsler, President of the Capital District Inventors Group of New York, Jeffrey Mangus, President of the West Virginia Inventors Association, Andrea Hence Evans, Board Member of the United Inventors Association, Rita Compton, Founder of Inventors Roundtable of Colorado, Cindy Duncan, member of Inventors Roundtable of Colorado, Daniel Braisted, Founder of Vegas Inventors, Warren Tuttle, President of the United Inventors Association, George Peters, Founder of Made in America Kettle Pizza, Chris Landano, President of Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club of Queen’s, Oren Gall, Vice President of the Pittsburgh Inventors Club, Frank Morosky, President of the Iowa Inventors Group, Don O’Brien, President of the Illinois Innovators and Inventors, Cheri Renee, President of the Inventors Association of St. Louis, Jan Heazler, President of the Southwest Missouri Inventors Network, John Hopkins, Chairman of the Michigan Inventors Coalition, Josh Malone, volunteer with US Inventor, and Randy Landreneau, President of US Inventor.
In total, around 10,000 inventors were represented at the gathering.
The inventor leaders divided into groups and met with their Representatives and Senators. Fifty-six different meetings were held in just one day. The inventor delegates educated congress members on inventor rights issues, convincing them of our important and legitimate cause. We received many favorable responses. Several representatives expressed their willingness to co-sponsor the Inventor Rights Act when it comes before the House. Our next step is to find a lead sponsor.
In the afternoon of September 11th, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of the 18th District of Texas and Representative Doug Collins of the 9th District of Georgia made an appearance at US Inventor’s congressional briefing, expressing their support of inventor rights.
Rep. Lee and Rep. Collins,
Thank you for taking some of your precious time on September 11 to show the inventors of America that you care about their plight and are standing up to restore the US patent system for their sake, the sake of the country, and truly the world. We understand that you are asked to be four places at one time and we are honored that you chose to be with us.
You understand that the unintended consequences of recent legislation has not just eroded, but negated patent rights for inventors. The leaders you spoke to on Wednesday represent thousands of inventors and can honestly say that the inventors of America thank you. Every week, we see another handful of inventors lose their creative idea, their property rights, their businesses, and their hope because they believed in patent rights as guaranteed by the USPTO, but were stolen from handily by large companies using the Patent Trial and Appeal Board as their weapon. The courts have upheld this injustice, so we have no other recourse than you, the honorable law makers. You are answering our plea.
Representative Lee, your pledge to work directly with inventors in legislation that most affects inventors gives us hope. Your commitment to helping underrepresented people, including inventors, makes you the perfect advocate. Your heart to return to a Constitutional system in which ideas can be protected and thus shared for the benefit of society is what we all need.
Representative Collins, your understanding of the value of one’s God-given creativity makes you the perfect advocate to take up the cause of restoring intellectual property. Your advice on how to get other lawmakers to understand the desperate plight of inventors has been taken to heart and will be applied.
If you’ve wondered whether your job and all the difficulties which ensue are worth it, the inventors of America are here to say that it is. Your work can help restore our once-great patent system. You, like our Founding Fathers, seem to really understand that the fruit of one’s mind is what moves technology, medicine.. really everything forward, and that it would be in everyone’s best interest for the government to once again guarantee that right. Again, we thank you.
Gratefully, The Inventors
Randy Landreneau, Rep. Doug Collins, Josh Malone, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Professor Adam Mosoff and Rep. Thomas Massie chat with the group of inventors.
After a whirlwind day of meetings at Congress, the inventor leaders gathered at Capitol Hill Club and were addressed by Professor Adam Mosoff and Representative Thomas Massie, both active proponents of inventor rights.
On Thursday, September 12, the inventors attended a conference held by the US Patent and Trademark Office. During one of the sessions, the USPTO introduced a panel of PTAB judges for a question and answer session. The inventors asked hard-hitting questions such as why the patent office doesn't stand by the decisions made by their own examiners, or how the PTAB uses the exact same prior art to justify invalidating a patent as was used to grant and defend the patent. None of these questions were answered satisfactorily, but at least we had the opportunity to voice our concerns.
Signature Status - 1223 inventors signed in 321 of 435 Congressional Districts! If you have not signed - we need you. usinventor.org/resolution
Delivery Status - Resolution delivered in person to:
• 61 of 435 Representatives.
• 6 of 100 Senators
Legislation Status - No bill yet. We have several members of Congress evaluating our proposal. The next step is to find a lead sponsor. Ask your Senator and Congressman to be the lead.
• House Democrat: Lead sponsor needed
• Senate Democrat: Lead sponsor needed
• House Republican: Lead sponsor identified
• Senate Republican: Lead sponsor needed
Meet with your Representative
Wondering how you can get involved? Reach out to the office of your Representative and ask for a meeting to discuss inventor rights, or attend one of the upcoming town halls being held in your area. Our lawmakers need to know that we will not stand to lose the rights to our intellectual property.
Ask questions like:
1. I am concerned about reports of large corporations stealing inventions and lack of access to the legal system for garage inventors and small businesses. Do you intend to co-sponsor the Inventor Rights Act in this Congress?
2. I understand the United States Patent and Trademark Office is now in the business of revoking the patent rights of inventors, with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board canceling portions of 80-90% of the patents they review. This is disheartening and discouraging to inventors and startups in our community. Would you support giving inventors the right to have their patent rights decided by a real judge and jury instead of this rogue tribunal? Will you co-sponsor the Inventor Rights Act?
3. I have an idea for an invention I would like to develop, but I understand that if a big corporation decides to invalidate my patent that it will cost me at least half a million dollars to fight them in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Can you pass a law that will protect my invention from this threat? Will you co-sponsor the Inventor Rights Act?
4. Josh Malone, the inventor of Bunch O Balloons, has said that his court case against Telebrands has cost over $20M. Where is an inventor supposed to get that kind of money? Will you co-sponsor the Inventor Rights Act to restore sanity to our patent system?
5. Juliette Fassett's patent for the Flippy iphone/tablet has failed to protect her invention from being blatantly stolen and copied with no repercussions. How can a small business survive if it takes a decade and millions of dollars in legal expense to sort out our intellectual property rights? Would you support the Inventor Rights Act to address this problem?
6. I don't think China should steal our technology, but it seems to me that U.S.-based corporations are stealing technology from inventors right and left. Google, Apple, Amazon, Telebrands and other big corporations are constantly getting away with profiting from pirated products. Would you support an Inventor Rights Act to put an end to this and reinvigorate the famous American innovation system?
If you would like to learn more about these issues, visit the links below.
Invalidated: The Shredding of the U.S. Patent System (Amazon Documentary)
$17 million: The real and staggering cost to patent in the US in the PTAB (Article by Josh Malone)
U.S. Startup Company Formation and Venture Capital Funding Trend 2004-2017 (White Paper by USIJ)
Inventor Rights Resolution (PLEASE SIGN the resolution if you have not already done so)
Reply or call us at one of the numbers below if you have any questions or concerns about our efforts.