If I am elected to this committee, I will pursue a single goal:
MAKE PATENTS GREAT AGAIN
The patent situation in the US is in shambles which is poor for the country. We no longer file patents with the idea that this will give us a monopoly on what we have invented. Instead we file only to give us some freedom to operate and reduce the probability that we will get sued by a high tech company. We will never again sue for royalties or to put someone out of the business. As a result, we no longer file patents except on those inventions that we intend to pursue. There are at least 100 inventions that we have identified where we could file patents but do not since it is a waste of money.
We had one case that was put in the IPR process. It involved 10 patents. All were declared invalid. It cost us $100,000 over and above the time and money spent by the contingency lawyers. It is outrageous that the USPTO grants a patent and later says “sorry we made a mistake” after you may have spent millions of dollars developing the technology. In another situation, we transferred ~200 patents to Acacia Research under a joint sharing relationship. They originally valued this portfolio at from $50 million to $500 million. Then the America Invents Act passed and over the next few years the value went to $0.
If I could help correct this injustice by serving on the committee then I would work hard to do so. However, if the committee is only a political forum dominated by large companies where the decisions are already made then I may not last long.
We collected (with the lawyers getting a big part) about $40 million in patent settlements over the years before the AIA act was passed and $0 since. So, my first goal is to get the AIA repealed. Then, a law should be passed which makes the USPTO a guarantor of any patents that they allow. They would enter cases on the side of the inventor and, if a court declares a patent invalid, the USPTO would consider that to be a failure of their patent granting system and take remedial action. No more than 1% of granted patents should ever be judged invalid. If a patent is declared invalid, the USPTO should reimburse the inventor for his/her losses including filing fees and product development costs. After all, it is the USPTO that failed.
My background is that I have 5 degrees from Carleton College (physics), MIT (mechanical engineering, SB & SM, in the top 10% of my class and business) and Columbia University (PhD mechanical engineering). I am a named inventor on about 500 pending and granted patents. Among others, I invented the airbag crash sensor that went on 90% of the world’s airbag equipped cars in the 1990’s and I received an award as one of the 12 inventors of the airbag. The Harvard Kennedy School did a study and found that I was a named inventor of 40% of the 100 most significant autonomous vehicle patents. Other honors and accomplishments are listed on my CV.