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TIA: Tennessee Inventors Association in Knoxville Tenn and Oak Ridge TN
Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN  

2011 Patent Reform: Can Senate reconcile House version?

Tom Kulaga's picture

The patent reform working its way through Congress may be stalled. Early this year, the Senate passed S.23. On June 23, 2011, the House passed H.R. 1249. The House Bill differed from the Senate Bill in several aspects. The Senate and House versions must be reconciled before patent reform can become law.

The current credit limit crisis in Washington will divert attention from the patent reform bill. It may be sometime this Fall before Congress revisits the patent reform bill. There are several aspects about the current parent reform bill that work against independent inventors.

Now is the time to contact our Tennessee Senators and tell them that they need to help independent inventors. The Tennessee Inventors Association cannot take action directly, but the members of the TIA, as individuals, as inventors, as citizens, can contact our elected officials and implore them to do the right thing for America.

Talking points:

  • Fee diversion needs to stop. The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) should keep all the fees they collect for their own use. The House Bill changed the portion of the Senate Bill that allowed the PTO to keep the fees the PTO collects.
  • First to File hurts independent inventors and small businesses.
    • First to File increases costs: Changing from first-to-invent to a first-to-file system places independent inventors and small businesses at a disadvantage. The cost of seeking patent protection will increase because patent applications must be filed immediately after the invention is created. The quick filing will result in unnecessary filings made before inventions are fully vetted and developed.
    • First to File elimates the 12 month grace period before filing. Independent inventors and small businesses rely upon the 12 month period before filing to further develop inventions and perform necessary feasibility and marketing studies.

When contacting your Senators, please reference both S.23, the Senate Bill, and H.R. 1249, the House Bill.

Contact Tennessee Senators:

Senator Bob Corker

Senator Lamar Alexander


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