(FreedomBeacon.com)- Last Thursday, on the tenth anniversary of Barack Obama signing the America Invents Act into law, American inventors rallied in six US cities to shine a spotlight on how the law nullified the rights and “stole the dreams” of thousands of independent inventors and startups while enriching Big Tech and multi-national conglomerates.
The America Invents Act (AIA) established an administrative tribunal called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which these inventors call “the Patent Death Squad.”
Inventors participating in the “Decade of Stolen Dreams” rallies have had their lives and businesses “unjustly destroyed by PTAB rulings,” says the inventor rights advocacy group US Inventor.
The rallies were held outside of USPTO regional offices in Alexandria, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, and San Jose. Another rally was held at the main Vermont office of the bill’s principal sponsor, Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy.
US Inventor’s Policy Director Josh Malone, who organized the rallies, said that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board was sold to Congress as an easier, faster, but fair alternative to litigating patent disputes in district court. But in reality, it became a powerful tool used by larger companies “to challenge the validity of any small inventor’s patent in order to use the inventor’s technology royalty-free, or to prevent the inventor’s disruptive technology from competing in the marketplace.”
According to Malone, patents reviewed by the PTAB are invalidated 84 percent of the time. And even if an inventor does survive a challenge and is permitted to keep his patent, the bigger company can simply request another hearing on a separate issue. The costs incurred by smaller inventors can be as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars. And if an inventor can’t afford that kind of money, he is often left with no other option than to give up the patent and walk away.
Worse still, it isn’t just US companies that can make use of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Chinese companies like ZTE, Huawei and TikTok have used the PTAB to invalidate patents held by American inventors in order to take their technology.
Malone wanted to use the ten-year anniversary of AIA to bring attention to those thousands of inventors whose “dreams have been crushed” and businesses destroyed in hopes that the American Invents Act is either repealed or revised.