S.1145 - Patent Reform Act of 2007

A bill to amend title 35, United States Code, to provide for patent reform. view all titles (3)

All Bill Titles

  • Short: Patent Reform Act of 2007 as introduced.
  • Short: Patent Reform Act of 2007 as reported to senate.
  • Official: A bill to amend title 35, United States Code, to provide for patent reform. as introduced.

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Anonymous 08/27/2008 6:21am

see http://www.piausa.org for an opposing view on patent reform

Anonymous 04/03/2008 5:06am

I believe the S. 1145 will tilt the patent advantage to large corporations and worse yet, to foreign corporations. The last thing we need in the USA is to further weaken the only thing that historically and somewhat currently sets us apart from the rest of the world, American innovation.

The USA economy and industry has been turned into a glorified sports team in the world arena who’s fans have nothing to cheer over but laundry – whomever is wearing our flag. America can only compete in the global economy successfully if the playing field is level and it’s not. Until it is, I cannot support any further weakening of our domestic interests.

Anonymous 03/31/2008 3:33am

They’re banking on getting away with it
By TOM GIOVANETTI
Special to the Star-Telegram

Property rights protect the little guy. It doesn’t matter how wealthy or politically connected you are — you have control and full legal standing with regard to your property. Because of your property rights, you can’t be run over and abused.

The same is true of intellectual property rights. There is something heroic, even romantic, about the small inventor who comes up with a breakthrough idea. The patent is his property right; his protection. It means that big companies can’t just steal his idea and kick him down the road. A just society is reinforced by property rights that protect the weak against the strong, and the small against the large.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. But sometimes the powerful and politically connected see property rights as an annoyance. Unfortunately, that is happening on Capitol Hill, where a consortium of major banks that have repeatedly infringed a patent are asking Congress to give them immunity for their violations.

Worse, these banks also are asking Congress to make taxpayers pay the patent holder for their illegal actions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bailout would cost the federal government at least a billion dollars.

If granted, this would reward the banks for ignoring patent rights. It also would set a precedent by which wealthy, politically connected patent infringers could go to Congress and ask for similar immunities and taxpayer bailouts. Such a precedent would undermine the U.S. patent system and American innovation.

Unfortunately, the banks have managed to persuade a number of senators to support this harmful legislation.

The story starts more than a decade ago, when the founder of a small Plano company called DataTreasury Corp. invented a system for digitally scanning and sending images of checks. The inventor received patents for it in 1999 and 2000.

DataTreasury Corp. tried to sell its technology to the banks, but instead of buying or licensing the technology, several big banks expropriated it and began using it to change the way they processed checks.

The value of that technology grew exponentially in 2003, when Congress legalized the digital processing of check transactions. Instead of physically returning cancelled checks to their signers, banks could perform the whole process electronically.

DataTreasury’s technology created a windfall for the banks. According to the industry’s own experts, the banks save between $2 billion and $6 billion annually because of the switch to digital processing.

Of course, that switch would not have been possible without DataTreasury’s technology, which was covered by patents that the banks callously ignored. Understandably, the company has sued for damages.

The banks initially responded by trying to get the patents invalidated with some legal jujitsu. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office upheld the validity of DataTreasury’s patents in their entirety. So rather than face a jury, where they obviously feared losing, the banks decided to call on their friends in Congress for legal protection.

The politicians who have pushed to grant banks immunity from their patent violations should reconsider. The U.S. Commerce Department has objected to this legislative provision, which was added onto the pending Patent Reform Act. Such a law would pave the way for Congress to start interfering in legal cases on behalf of the highest bidder.

The Commerce Department — the parent agency of the Patent and Trademark Office — also pointed out that “limiting patent holders’ rights and remedies in this instance could reduce innovation in this technology area.”

In other words, revoking someone’s property rights affects not only the disenfranchised property holder but also the next round of inventors. In this instance, moreover, Congress is sending the bill for the bailout to us — the taxpayers.

All this makes for quite a lobbying coup. The banking industry makes off with a few extra billion dollars, robs a small business of its intellectual property and sticks taxpayers with the tab.

Legislation should not be used to grant retroactive legal immunity to large corporations that willfully ignored the property rights of a small, innovative company. And no elected official who has pledged to maintain the integrity of our legal system should be a party to such a travesty.
Tom Giovanetti is president of the Institute for Policy Innovation, a nonpartisan think tank based in Lewisville.

marshall 03/21/2008 2:47pm

Something needs to be done – a poor man has no chance, to get funds he needs to talk to others – other sign a nda , but go to a thrid party business – poor boy is still poor and that’s the crime.

The system needs to let the patent search start at no cost – a sm free to file with a full chrange paid over a term like a home.

A system like this would help remove infringement – no needed for a inventer to talk with others to find capital to file – with a pre-search done – a law firm would then have a lower cost to handle the filing work and the inventer would be able to find the seedcap needed whit less problems.

The benefit of this is more jobs and new business’s on the tax roll faster. With more business playing fair – the people trust of Gov. could be restored.

Moderated Comment

Anonymous 03/10/2008 3:44am
The banks want you to think they are victims of the 911 ckeck21 legislation, but that is not true.

Before check21 they spent about 10 cents a check.
When Datatreasury approached them with their patented system at lees than 1/2 of the banks current cost, the banks declined. They instead decided to infringe on Datatreasury’s patents thinking Datatreasury did not have the money to fight the banks in court, but now that Datatreasury is winning in court the banks are trying to pressure Senators into section 14 of the patent reform act.
Senator Session and the banks are also calling Datatreasury Patent Troll. Datatreasury had over 100 employees before the law suits against the banks. The law suits have almost bankrupted the company and they now have less than 5 employees. The banks should pay.

Sparhawk2k 02/11/2008 8:56pm

I’m adding support for this with reservations. I think patent reform is quite important given how broken the system is. I’m not sure this is the solution though. The patent office and some labor unions seem to be against it but the EFF thinks its a step in the right direction. My patent knowledge tends to lean towards the technology side so I’m going to have to side with the EFF. Though hopefully they’ll come up with something even better so it wont matter.

Also, I don’t know how often year old bills still make it through… I was just surfing around.


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