The Inventors Forum is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization of Inventors helping Inventors for over 30 years. We are based in Orange County, CA.
Our speaker for Friday, March 10, 2023 has cancelled. Please join us at the Urban Workshop on Friday, March 31, 2023 for our in-person inventors support meeting.
We will resume our online speaker meetings next month on Friday, April 14.
The Loss of Inventor Rights – A Concise Description
For those new to the issue of inventors having lost the ability to stop large corporations from just taking valuable, patented technologies, here’s a quick rundown:
1. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB): The America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA) created an easier way to invalidate (revoke) an issued patent. The PTAB is an administrative court with no jury and much less due process than a real court. Rather than a lifetime-appointed judge, a PTAB trial typically has three attorneys who are called Administrative Patent Judges (APJs). Since inception, 84% of the patents that go through a PTAB process get fully or partially invalidated (partially usually means the parts of the patent that matter).
When you attempt to stop a large corporation from infringing your patent, they will try to use the PTAB to invalidate your patent. If you win one PTAB attack, you can still be pulled into additional ones by the same or other infringers. According to the AIPLA (American Institute of Patent Law Association), a reasonable PTAB defense costs $400,000 to $800,000. Historically, the typical inventor would hire an attorney on a contingency basis to fight an infringer (where the inventor doesn’t pay much up front and the attorney gets a percentage of the verdict award or settlement amount). Today, it is extremely rare for an attorney to take any PTAB case on contingency.
2. Injunctive Relief (the ability to stop an infringer after you have won your case): The U.S. Supreme Court decided that it was in the “public interest” for a proven infringer to continue infringing because it could serve the market better than a startup (Ebay, 2006). As a result, even if you win your case, you will have to pass a “public interest” test before an injunction can be issued to stop the infringer. A startup vs an entrenched corporation will typically fail this test, so you can’t stop the infringer. You end up with a court-ordered royalty that you cannot negotiate, and the infringer keeps your invention and the market. This is often an impossible barrier for what would have been, until recently, the next great American disruptive startup.
3. Abstract Idea: The U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice decision (2014), put into law that an “abstract idea” cannot be patented, but did not define this term. The result is that a sharp attorney can often convince a judge, who may have little tech experience, that a patent should have not been issued. This argument is most often used for software related or medical diagnostics patents. The patents of many important, future technologies that are invalidated on this issue in America are valid and defendable in China and Europe, so that is where startup funding is going.
A U.S. Patent is supposed to provide the inventor with the exclusive right to his or her invention (U.S. Constitution Article I, § 8, Clause 8). You should be able to legally stop any infringer, no matter how powerful. You should be able to create a disruptive startup, or license your invention at a market rate. This is what created the incentive to invent that enabled America to lead the world in innovation for over 200 years and has been a major part of the American Dream.
This is what US Inventor is fighting to restore.
Help this vital effort by signing our Inventor Rights Resolution and getting your U.S. Representatives and Senators behind this effort.
Join Us at Our Inventor Support Meetings in 2023!
Friday, March 31, 2023!
Our IN PERSON Inventor Support Meetings
continue Friday, March 31, 2023
and continue on every LAST FRIDAY
OF EACH MONTH.
AT THE URBAN WORKSHOP
365 Clinton St Suite A,
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
JOIN US AT THESE IN-PERSON (MEMBERS ONLY MEETINGS)
AND BRING YOUR IDEAS AT ANY LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT.
ALL IN ATTENDANCE ARE INVENTORS FORUM MEMBERS IRONBOUND
UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT TO MAINTAIN PRIVACY.
NOTE EARLIER HOURS: 6 PM DOORS OPEN, MEETING STARTS 6:30 SHARP.
SOME LIGHT SNACKS AND DRINKS WILL BE AVAILABLE.
These PRIVATE Members Assistance meetings are held on the last Friday of each month. Door fees are $5 for members.
Non-members can join at the door. Initial membership fees are $50 per year, and half price for seniors 65+ and for
full time students, and disabled. We can take cash, checks or credit and debit card payments through Stripe at the meetings.
ORANGE COUNTY INVENTOR’S FORUM is a 501(c)(3) NON-PROFIT group. We are a group of Product Developers, Business Professionals, Engineers, Entrepreneurs, Patent Attorneys and creative people VOLUNTEERING to help would-be inventors objectively evaluate their invention's validity, network with friends, and to assist inventors in proceeding into the marketplace as effectively as possible.
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