Sen. Orrin Hatch wants to overhaul U.S. patent law

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  • l.cee Ridgefield, WA
    April 3, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    Here we go again--another Congressman/Senator trying to grease the skids for BIG CORPORATIONS. If there is a backlog--why try to change the law? Why not make it so there are more workers and sreamline the process to handle the backlog?

  • homers Provo, UT
    April 3, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    to Esquire: He always introduces a lot of legislation - this isn't anything new. DNews used to do a "batting average" for our federal legislators - they don't do it anymore but Hatch always introduced and passed more legislation than the rest of the Congressional office-holders combined. In the 211th Congress he introduced 70 bills and 8 became law, Bennett introduced 50 and 2 became law, Bishop 20 and 0 became law, Matheson 21and 1 became law, Chaffetz 27 and 1 became law.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 3, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    If Orrin has anything to do with it, there must be something crooked hiding in it somewhere.

  • Ron Hilton Holladay, UT
    April 3, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    The most important and helpful provision in the proposed law is that it will allow the US Patent Office to keep all of fees that it collects. Right now, Congress skims away much of their revenue which is why the backlog is so high. As for the first-inventor-to-file provision, it is already very risky and potentially costly to rely on the current first-to-invent law. Filing first has always been better, and in that sense the current law gives a false sense of security anyway. However, the 12-month "grace period" has also been unnecessarily weakened in the proposed law, and Hatch should be encouraged to fix that aspect of it. Another good idea that is not part of the present reform proposal would be a multi-tier system. That is something which would truly benefit the small inventor.

  • Jim Dexter Taylorsville, UT
    April 3, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    Hatch essentially destroyed the founders' limited copyright system by keeping expired copyrights from the public domain through perpetual renewal. I don't trust anything that comes from Hatch. Especially his attempt to reinvent himself as a real conservative.

  • David B. Cedar City, UT
    April 3, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    If they want to reform things,how about they reform the way they mysteriously vote themselves these pay raises behind closed doors and stiffing the people on COLA adjustments for starters? Then explain how you people gave all this so called stimulus money out and they're right back at it with the obscene bonuses that none of these people deserve. All I see coming is one giant snow job coming at us in order to keep your phoney balony jobs! Well you have our attention now and what we didn't get rid of in 2010 we will get rid of in 2012.

  • AlbertDavis Glendale, Arizona
    April 3, 2011 11:52 a.m.


    That will cure the backlog and any quality problems which are ALL caused by a lack of Examiners, equipment and staff. Congress has messed the system up for decades by stealing money. Congress is the problem, not our Patent System.

    Forget all other the changes to the Patent System.

    We will regret it if we change our System to be like all others. They don't do as well as we do and are run by Big Companies.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 3, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    Nothing actually wrong with Sen. Hatch proposing changes in patent laws. But, patents are not very important if our country is bankrupt and our dollars worthless, and inflation destroying all accumulated wealth.

    What the heck is Hatch doing to reign in runaway federal spending, other than a toothless "balanced budget amendment" which will be ignored as every pet project will be deemed an emergency?

    No, Hatch needs to show us that he can actually convert all that experience and seniority he talks about into concrete accomplishments by cutting spending, and refusing to vote for more debt increases. If he needs to learn how to do this, he can ask new Senators Mike Lee, or Marco Rubio or Pat Toomey.

    Senator Hatch is in full campaign mode, but we need him to be in full "lead the charge to cut actual spending" mode. Quit wasting time on the easy "fluff" issues and focus on the critical issues, the really tough ones that require guts and leadership, not pandering.

  • Oregonian Sherwood, OR
    April 3, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    Another supposed "common sense" law from Hatch. But it is really a power grab by big business to take the ideas of the little guy.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 3, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    Sure seems like Hatch is being really active lately on new legislative proposals. I wonder why. .

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    April 3, 2011 4:47 a.m.

    I have to disagree with the first to file patent laws, as they are negatively and regressive actions of inventors rights. Regardless of how long it takes to process inventions, it subverts inventors rights and promotes theft of inventions by corporate america.

    If there is such a large slow down in approving patent rights then its a matter of department understaffed and not a paperwork problem. The same issues now were also present in 1790 so that is proof how well the present system is. Any changes to a law that old and proven is detrimental to the patenting process and the inventors. Adding a couple more people is the proper overhaul.

  • JMH Clifton, VA
    April 3, 2011 4:33 a.m.

    I think Sen. Hatch realizes that all to many people have an idea but have no ability to make the "idea" into something that is an actual invention. They lay in the weeds waiting for someone to actually invent something that has commercial appeal and they they file a law suit. These are known as submarine patents and this is why Mr. Foster says the first to file will not work. It is the patent lawyers that file these cases and look for settlements. You need only look at the Blackberry case where the judge did not fully understand the issue and RIM, the company that made the idea work, had to settle out of court with today's version of highway robbers to the tune of $612 million. Otherwise the judge threatened to turn blackberries off and they would have lost their market.

    Thank you Senator Hatch for trying to protect the real inventors and not the pretend inventors.

  • TwoBitsWorth Salt Lake City, UT
    April 3, 2011 3:01 a.m.


    3. There are now maintenance fees required by the U.S. Government to keep a patent active. These fees have nothing to do with the costs of approving a patent, and are in reality just another form of taxation. They also serve to force the small business owner to abandon the patent if he still does not have a buyer for his product when the tax becomes due.

    4. Also, under the proposed law supporting the concept of "first to file", the risk of patent piracy is greatly increased because anyone can advertise on the internet that they can help beginners get their product patented, and they then file a provisional patent on the beginner's product and become the owner of the patent because they were first to file.

    This proposed law is a lousy law for a small business man and for the beginner inventor. It should be rejected.

    Also, the current maintenance fee on patents should eliminated for the small businessman because it can sometimes be the straw that breaks the camel's back. It creates an uneven playing field in favor of big business.

    Vote against the proposed new patent law.

  • TwoBitsWorth Salt Lake City, UT
    April 3, 2011 2:30 a.m.

    I am a small inventor. I hold three patents. I disagree with Senator Hatch. This new law will cause many small inventors like myself to be taken advantage of by big corporations.

    Here are the reasons.

    1.Small inventors like myself need to be able to document and date their invention so as to establish first right of conception. And then be able to go shopping for a buyer or an investor. In my case it took more than the one year allowed by a Provisional Patent for me to get financial backing for my product.

    2. The current provisional patent is only good for one year and then one must file for a full patent with all the costs involved or face the possibility that the product may become public domain. My last patent application cost me $7,000 to get it through the system, and it is not an especially complicated item. I think small inventors need more time.

    continued . . .