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Group of Inventors Burn Their Patents in Protest

August 16, 2017
As reported last week by IP Watchdog, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) refused to approve a permit requested by US Inventor for booth or table space within the Agency’s office building  in Alexandra, VA. The group’s objective was to  protest and raise awareness of the ongoing high rates of patent invalidation resulting from decisions made by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Despite two denied appeals, US Inventor, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the U.S. patent system, was undeterred. They opted to set up on the sidewalk outside the PTO. Some of the protestors went so far as to burn their actual patents, citing PTO policies had rendered them worthless.

The PTO’s interim director Joe Matal came out to speak with and listen to members of the group as they expressed their concerns with the PTAB.

[caption id="attachment_26262" align="alignleft" width="300"] Patents burn at US Inventor PTAB protest at the USPTO, Friday, August 11, 2017. Photo taken by @TheRealMattDowd.[/caption]

The unintended consequences of the PTAB’s administrative patent challenge system known as Inter Partes Review, or IPR, have caused much concern among innovative, intellectual property-reliant companies that are helping to drive this nation’s economic growth. Rather than being a cheaper substitute for expensive district court litigation, these proceedings have produced more litigation, not less, and have perpetuated disputes rather than resolving them sooner.

BIO stands ready to work with Congress and the PTO on efforts to reform the patent system, to ensure better support for inventors, investors, and the people waiting for new biotech innovations treatments to improve their lives and their environment.