Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Jim Renacci (OH-16) voted in support of the America Invents Act, H.R. 1249, which passed the House by a vote of 304 - 117. This legislation will change the current patent law system from first-to-invent to first-inventor-to-file, adding much needed certainty to the patent process. Congressman Renacci released the following statement in response to the passage of this bill, which will reduce the cost of frivolous litigation, increase patent certainty and allow the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to remain competitive on an international scale:
“An effective patent system is crucial to promoting research and development investment, job creation, global competitiveness and economic growth. The United States currently faces a backlog in the approval process, with a three year wait to receive a patent. This year, China will surpass the United States for the first time in the patent approval process, and we cannot protect the technologies of today with the tools of yesterday. Streamlining the patent system will make it easier for existing businesses to grow and allow more start-up companies to create needed jobs. I am proud to support this bill to help ensure our nation’s continued growth and success.”
Congressman Renacci also partnered with Congressman Gary Peters (D-MI-09) to introduce a small business-friendly amendment to H.R. 1249. The amendment, which passed by a voice vote, will require the PTO to use existing resources to report to Congress within 120 days how the PTO, Small Business Administration, and other agencies can assist small businesses to obtain, maintain, and enforce foreign patents. The study will also examine the possible benefits of establishing dedicated loan and grant programs for small businesses to defray the costs of foreign patent administration.
The remarks Congressman Renacci made on the House floor urging support for this amendment are as follows:
Thank you to the gentleman for yielding, and thank you to the gentleman from Michigan for his hard work on the amendment on behalf of American small businesses.
I rise today in strong support of the Peters-Renacci amendment, a commonsense, no-cost study to determine the best method for American small businesses to obtain and enforce patent protections in foreign countries.
Industries that rely on intellectual property employ nearly 18 million American workers and represent 60% of American exports. As these industries continue to grow globally, foreign patent protection will become increasingly important to protect these workers’ jobs, promote exports, and expand our economy.
Our economy is becoming more global by the day, with foreign innovators testing the outer reaches of imagination and enjoying the strong support of their home nations. China, for example, is becoming increasingly aggressive at protecting their innovators’ intellectual property rights and is subsidizing applications for foreign patents. We must develop a way here at home to make American small businesses equally competitive in the foreign marketplace. In order to compete with China, we have to stand behind our innovators with equal force.
Our amendment simply directs the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to conduct a joint study with the Small Business Administration to issue recommendations on how America can do just that. Furthermore, this study is to be completed within 120 days, giving the 112th Congress ample time to implement its recommendations.
Not only are jobs and the economy paramount, promoting American innovation is also important. Innovation is about much more than economic growth. It breaks b