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House Bill H.R. 2795

i3 speaks out on pending legislation

HR 2795, The Patent Reform Act of 2005, proposes significant changes to the rules governing patents.  These changes would have a detrimental effect on independent inventors.  In the following letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee i3 outlined its concerns over the proposed legislation.

Dear Congressman,

I am writing on behalf of the Illinois Innovators & Inventors, an independent not-for-profit organization, whose primary purpose is to encourage and assist St. Louis area inventors.  We urge you to consider rejecting H.R. 2795, “The Patent Reform Act of 2005”, which will have a significant adverse impact on independent inventors. 

The U.S. patent system, unlike the systems of most other countries, affords the independent inventor the ability to obtain and enforce legal protection for his intellectual properties. H.R. 2795 jeopardizes these protections in the following provisions:


          The First Inventor to File provision creates a race to the patent office and limits an inventor’s time to prepare a product for market.  Independent inventors, with fewer resources than companies, are placed at a significant and competitive disadvantage.


          Third Party Re-examination places an additional hurdle for independent inventors to address, a hurdle easily imposed by any competitor.  The provision also creates an additional burden on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to manage.


          Assignee Filing: While possibly unconstitutional, this provision is also blatantly unfair by allowing employers to circumvent the rights of their employees.


America’s independent inventors have been among the most prolific in the world.   These inventors are not just employees of large corporations but are ordinary people, like farmers, teachers, students and salesmen, who each have an idea and the entrepreneurial spirit to make things better. 

As our country moves toward an Information Economy, having fair and equitable laws governing intellectual properties will become even more important.  The new engines of economic growth, companies like Microsoft, Ameritrade, or Google, have their roots in the entrepreneurial spirit of individuals.  U.S. patent laws must be fair and equitable in promoting the rights of individuals as well as those of large businesses.  In so doing, such laws will help create the next generation of companies to move our country forward on a global scale.


We would appreciate your support in this matter and would be happy to discuss the issues in greater detail should you need additional information.


Phil Curry
President, Illinois Innovators & Inventors


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