Mossoff Briefs House Members on Opposition to America Invents Act

Professor Adam Mossoff briefed members of the House of Representatives and their staffs this morning on his opposition to the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249), following up later in the day with a press conference on the same topic.

Mossoff and several other individuals expressed concern over the proposed patent reform legislation, which was passed by the Senate on March 8 by a vote of 95-5 and voted out of committee in the House in April. The bill currently awaits a floor vote in the House.

Mossoff’s remarks were based on the content of a white paper he produced for the U.S. Business & Industry Council in which he states, "this ‘patent reform’ legislation will substantially change the American patent system in both substance and procedure. One of its most important substantive changes will be the elimination of the uniquely American approach in securing property rights in inventions to only their first and true inventors (the ‘first-to-invent’ system). Section 2 in the Senate (S.23) and the House (H.R. 1249) versions of the America Invents Act will replace the first-to-invent system with the one long enforced in England and in other countries: the first person to file for a patent receives the property right (the ‘first-to-file’ system)."

"The Constitution and long-established historical practice in American patent law establish that the only the first inventor can obtain a patent," says Mossoff. "The securing of patents to first inventors is what has made the American patent system unique—it is what has made the patent system an essential part of American exceptionalism."

Note: On June 28, Mossoff was a guest on NPR's Kojo Nnamdi show to discuss the recently enacted legislation, which awaits a Reconciliation Conference before going to President Obama for his signature. Mossoff spoke on the many problems associated with the new patent legislation.