Patent Law Changes Could Hurt Small Inventors
Over the past several months, Congress has been discussing numerous changes to existing patent law.
While certain elements of the legislation will bring the U.S. patent system in line with much of the rest of the world by potentially simplifying the process of filing, granting and disputing patents, my concern is that the direction and consequences of this new legislative effort will unfairly impact smaller inventors, who may face increased financial and administrative burdens throughout the patenting process.
There are six major changes proposed by the House bill that could negatively impact the small inventor:
1. A switch from a first-to-invent system to a first-to-file system.
2. Substantial changes to patent infringement damages.
3. Introduction of a post-grant review/objection period.
4. Permission granted to third parties to submit art directly to examiners, providing them the ability to impact patent prosecution.
5. Substantial limitations on the selection of courts for patent litigation.
6. Early appeals in litigation matters.
Photo by jaylopez.