Rohrabacher Urges Defeat of ‘Anti-Inventor’ Patent Bill
WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on Tuesday took to the House of Representatives floor to urge his colleagues to defeat HR-9, a bill purporting to reform patent litigation but which the California Republican believes will stifle American innovation and drastically harm small inventors.
The measure is scheduled for a “mark-up” Thursday in the Judiciary Committee and is expected to move quickly to the full body for a vote despite recent negative publicity from those who would be most affected and bipartisan legislators.
“This bill is called ‘the Innovation Act of 2015,’ but it is actually anti-innovation,” said Rohrabacher, who has been fighting similar attempts throughout his quarter-century in Congress. “In all my years here I have never seen a bill so deserving of the description ‘crony capitalism.’”
The bill, drafted in Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s Judiciary Committee, claims to reduce costly lawsuits brought against corporations by so-called “patent trolls” who buy inventors’ patents and sue over alleged violations.
“HR-9 addresses a legitimate issue,” said Rohrabacher, “but in reality makes it harder for small inventors to protect their patents and easier for big corporations to steal them.” This would happen, he has argued, because it would pit individual inventors, many of them minorities and independent, against corporations’ richly funded legal departments.
The congressman said American universities are opposed to the Goodlatte bill because it jeopardizes their portfolios, many of which contain patents developed by their faculties. He also charged that the bill would put at risk the Defense Department’s budget because of the large number of technological patents it holds.
In his speech, televised on C-SPAN, Rohrabacher urged Americans to contact their congressmen and urge the bill’s defeat.