"Reform Will Undermine Patent System," Alexander Poltorak Writes in Christian Science Monitor Op-ed
Suffern, NY - January 29, 2008 - Alexander Poltorak, chairman and CEO of General Patent Corporation, condemned patent legislation being considered by the Senate in an opinion essay published yesterday in The Christian Science Monitor. The article can be viewed online at www.csmonitor.com/2008/0128/p09s02-coop.html?page=1.
"Despite the fact that improvement in some fashion is needed, this sweeping reform, if made law, will undermine the core of the patent system in the United States," Poltorak wrote in the article. "It will mean weaker protection for small inventors, university researchers, and entrepreneurs across America."
The proposed legislation has been approved by the House of Representatives and cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee this fall. It has been the subject of much lobbying efforts and is expected to come to a vote by the Senate in February.
Poltorak has been critical of this legislation from its inception, arguing that the system's current flaws will not be addressed in the current reform bill. The coauthor of two books on patents and intellectual property, Poltorak founded the nonprofit American Innovators for Patent Reform and has been widely quoted as an expert on patents and intellectual property in the news media.
"An 'apportionment of damages' provision ... chips away at the economic value of patents," Poltorak charges in the article. "Post-grant oppositions ... would throw a cloud of uncertainty over all issued patents," he continues. "Other proposed changes take the teeth out of patents and make rights harder to enforce."
Poltorak not only criticizes the proposed reform for what it does, but laments it for what it doesn't do - address ambiguities and flaws in the present system. One such example is the inventor's right to exclude, which was muddied by the Supreme Court's recent eBay decision. "Congress should correct this by giving an inventor the ability to stop an infringer from unauthorized use of a patented invention," proposes Poltorak.
Based in Boston, The Christian Science Monitor is a national daily publication.