NSBA Supports Patent Reform Bill

July 3, 2018

On June 28, 2018, bipartisan legislation was introduced by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) which would make necessary reforms to the U.S. patent system that would help, rather than harm, small-business inventors. The legislation, the Restoring America’s Leadership In Innovation Act (RALIA) of 2018 (H.R. 6264), is strongly supported by NSBA and our hi-tech arm, the Small Business Technology Council, and is a necessary, small-business friendly alternative to other harmful patent reform initiatives currently pending before Congress.

In 2011, Congress passed and then-President Obama signed into law the America Invents Act (AIA) which resulted in negative side-effects for small-business innovators and has limited their ability to protect their patents from infringement. The RALIA Act addresses many of the AIA’s shortcomings, including:

  • Restores the right of the first investor to a patent;
  • Reinstates a one-year grace period between first disclosure and the must-file deadline;
  • Ends the diversion of patent fees;
  • Ensures adequate, dependable funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office;
  • Revamps the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which invalidates patents at an unreasonably high rate;
  • Sets a new standard for invalidating a patent;
  • Ends the automatic publication of patent applications;
  • Allows for damages if validity challenges originate in bad faith; and
  • Allows for a permanent injunction against a proven unfair patent infringer.

These reforms will strengthen patents across the business community, enhance the U.S. patent system, and reestablish the attractiveness of creativity and encourage innovation.

Please click here to read NSBA’s full letter of support.