The calvary has arrived. Suffering the slings and arrows of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s newly proposed rules, inventors now have reinforcements. The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), the country’s largest organization of Intellectual Property Law attorneys has filed an amici(friend of the court) brief in the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) case. As you will recall, GSK is suing the Patent Office to force the Office to “perform neglected or unlawfully performed duties.” (I wonder if I can sue my kids for that?)
The AIPLA brief explains how the new Patent Office rules destroy existing inventor protections. According to Patently-O, even former Patent Office Director Harry Manbeck filed a declaration explaining why the new rules are illegal. Patently-O has posted the full brief, detailing all of the ways in which the new rules threaten the underpinnings of the Constitutionally mandated protections afforded inventors.
Pundits are calling the new rules “Anti-American”. As patents affect every aspect of our daily lives, these issues are important to all of us. The framers of the Constitution knew the importance of protecting inventors. If the Patent Office is allowed to take away these rights unilaterally, what will this do to innovation in the United States. More importantly, once the precedence is set, what Constitutional protections are next on the chopping block?