SBTC Co-Chair Testifies Before Senate on Patents

March 24, 2015

Schmidt testify 3.19.15On Thursday, March 19, 2015, Robert Schmidt, co-chair of the Small Business Technology Council, the high-tech arm of NSBA, testified before the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee on the importance of fair patenting law to small businesses. Specifically, Schmidt highlighted the detrimental effects that so-called patent reform bills such as the Innovation Act (H.R. 9) would have on small, innovative firms.

According to Schmidt’s testimony: “While ostensibly aimed at curbing a small number and anecdotal instances of abusive patent litigation, the overbroad and sweeping proposed legislation in H.R. 9 will have the effect of suppressing patent rights of all patentees, and in particular, will hurt the small high-tech, job-creating SBIR businesses, and thus the economy.”

NSBA has opposed the Innovation Act given that it will make it more expensive and more difficult to obtain a patent and it will put enforcing a patent beyond the financial reach of most small inventors.

More recently, legislation was introduced in the Senate, the Support Technology and Research for Our Nation’s Growth (STRONG) Patents Act (S.632) which would curb frivolous lawsuits from so-called patent-trolls, but also ensures the patent system works and levels the playing field between small inventors and large companies.

Throughout his testimony, Schmidt urged Senators to reject the Innovation Act and instead support the STRONG Patents Act, and underscored the importance of patents to economic security, stating that: “The Federal Reserve found that patents are the number one indicator of regional wealth, more important than education or infrastructure.  Being a high patenting community means the difference of $8,600 in household income. “

Please click here to read Schmidt’s full testimony.

Please click here to watch video of Schmidt’s testimony.

Please click here to watch the entire hearing testimony.