The proposed Innovation Act (HR 9) is supposed to target only patent trolls. But as the National Venture Capital Association and 144 major universities warn, the bill's poorly drafted provisions actually will undermine the startups and small businesses responsible for nearly all breakthrough innovation and job growth in the United States.
At the very least, Congress should ask powerful supporters of the bill like Google and Amazon to explain their recent (and rather convenient) change of heart
When Google was a startup, after all, it filed
its seminal PageRank patent before it even had a business plan, venture
funding or a domain name -- and then paid Stanford University $336
million in shares for an exclusive license to it. But today Google
claims that patents (especially software patents) "hinder innovation" --
a rather disingenuous argument from the first company in the world to
build its initial success on a software patent.
And what about
Amazon's famous one-click software patent, granted in 1999? Only 23 days
after it obtained that patent, Amazon filed a patent suit against its
then-larger competitor Barnes and Noble.