SUCCESS Act Public Comment Outline
1. Introduction: Speak as either an independent inventor, a representative for a company, or
both. If you are a woman, minority, or veteran, be sure to highlight that.
EX: My name is Ella Malone and I am the inventor of The Example Product and
founder of Example Company. As a female patent holder, the SUCCESS Act is very
important to me.
2. Main point: In two or three sentences, summarize your recommendation and its
connection to the SUCCESS Act.
EX: I support increasing the number of women, minorities, and veterans who hold
patents, but it is crucial that we concurrently increase the enforceability of those patents.
Patents have become liabilities for independent inventors thanks to the PTAB and lack of
strong enforcement in court. If the recommended legislation does not include increased
protection of patents, we will end up destroying the lives of the very individuals we intend
3. Your story: If you have experience with the PTAB, patent infringement, or lack of
investment due to fear of infringement, talk about it! Include details on the cost of
litigation, time spent, etc. Keep it to a few paragraphs or shorter. If you don’t have
personal experience, feel free to use one of the examples below, then express how
knowing about stories like these affected your decision to/not to innovate.
A. Josh Malone, Bunch O Balloons – Josh’s invention was copied by
Telebrands who flooded the market with knock-offs. The effort to enforce
his patents resulted in 4 district court cases, 8 PTAB cases, and 13 appeals,
costing over $20M.
B. Alex Sevrinsky, Paice – Alex invented a torque drive system for hybrid
vehicles. The technology was successfully license to Toyota, but Ford,
Volkswagon, and Hyundai opted to eliminate his primary patent by filing
26 IPR petitions. The dispute led to 4 district court cases, 44 PTAB cases,
and 34 appeals and millions of dollars in legal expense.
C. Roman Chistyakov, Zond – Roman invented a plasma metal thin film
deposition technology used for semiconductors and razor blades. Intel,
Toshiba, Fujitsu, GlobalFoundries, Gillette and others gang-tackled Zond
with 125 IPR petitions costing them millions of dollars. The PTAB
construed Roman’s invention of a plasma “without arcing” to cover prior
art plasmas with “a little arcing” and cancelled 10 patents with 371 claims.
Zond was growing with over 20 employees at the start. All are now gone.
D. More examples at https://www.protectamericaninnovation.com/patent
4. Specific recommendations: US Inventor’s legislative recommendations are summarized
in the attached Inventor Rights Resolution. The main points are as follows.
A. The USPTO Must Stop Taking Back Patents From Inventors
B. Courts must prohibit use of a patented invention without permission
C. Infringers must not profit by using an invention without permission
EX: Patents are the foundation for innovative companies. Due to extremely high PTAB
invalidation rates, investors are not funding innovative companies built on patented
ideas. It is incomprehensible that the Patent Office is attacking inventors in these
proceedings – the complete opposite of promoting innovation! According to the 2017
AIPLA Report of the Economic Survey, the estimated mean cost of a post-grant
proceeding through appeal runs at $450,000.00. The underrepresented classes being
discussed would be ruined by a single IPR. In order to provide patents of value women,
minorities, and veterans, the USPTO must stop taking back patents from inventors.
Additionally, the “exclusive right” promised on the patent must be enforced. The 2006
eBay decision revoked the inventor’s ability to decide how her invention is produced and
by whom. The inventor cannot determine the price, quality, brand, included features,
materials, factory location, working conditions, environmental sustainability, or any
other concern. The legislative recommendation should include bolstered access to
injunctions for individual inventors.
Finally, infringers must not profit by using an invention without permission. Current law
limits most inventors who win in court to only a “reasonable royalty”, which in many
cases does not cover legal fees and is too little to serve as a deterrent against large
corporations with deep pockets. Few inventors, particularly the underrepresented classes
being discussed through the SUCCESS Act, can afford the millions of dollars and years
required to enforce their patents in court. Even after winning, the inventor gets a small
percentage of the profits while the infringer keeps the rest. Infringement is a good
business decision under current law. The legislative recommendation must include more
severe penalties for willingly infringing on patents.
2. Recent summary of issues affecting independent inventors. Provides statistics and history
on the topic. https://www.usinventor.org/2019/03/25/inventors-to-senate-ip
3. Invalidated: The Shredding of the US Patent System. A short, informative documentary
on the PTAB. watchinvalidated.com
4. Numeric data on the economic impact of innovation and the decreasing investment in
startups due to lack of confidence in patents. https://www.usij.org/research/2018/7/9/us