Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Foster Votes To Protect Inventors and Prevent Patent Abuses

Dec 5, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) released the following statement on today’s votes on patent abuses:

“Today I voted against patent abuse and to protect the rights of small business and inventors.  Abusive patents have been an increasing problem, placing an unsustainable burden on job creators and innovators.

“To prevent this abuse I voted in favor of the Conyers/Watt Deceptive Patent Practices Reduction Act that would create transparency in patent ownership, preventing troll like entities from being able to hide behind shell companies anonymously.  It would also protect the victims of infringement suits and direct the Patent and Trade Office to prepare reports and educational materials on patent infringement abuses.

“I voted against H.R. 3309, the so-called ‘Innovation Act’ because it is so broad it harms new inventors and hampers innovation.  The measure includes an overly onerous fee shifting mechanism that I believe will hurt small inventors.  As a ‘garage inventor’ myself, who turned an invention into a multi-million dollar company, I know firsthand how important patent rights are to small businesses and inventors.  As a nation, we want to encourage small startups, not block their growth.”

“I am hopeful that the fee shifting provision as written will be taken out of the final bill after conference with the Senate and we will have another chance to consider this issue.”

More information on the Conyers/Watt Deceptive Patent Practices Reduction Act, a substitute to H.R. 3309 is available here.

Foster was joined by fellow physicist Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and inventors and patent holders Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) in voting against H.R. 3309.

Foster is a scientist and businessman who started his own business at age 19.  The company Foster co-founded with his brother, Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc., now manufactures over half of the theater lighting equipment in the United States.