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No Friend to Inventors, California Congressman Darrell Issa Retires

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has just announced that he will not seek reelection in 2018. This comes as a pleasant surprise to inventors and technology-driven startups. Since being named Chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet in 2014, Congressman Issa has enacted anti-small-inventor patent reforms.

In the past, Rep. Issa has even used the terms “plaintiff” and “patent troll” interchangeably. Rep. Issa’s reforms have hindered the ability of small inventors to pursue infringers and, according to Paul Morinville, Founder of US Inventor, “discouraged investment in innovative startups.” According to Adrian Pelkus, Director of US Inventor and the President of the San Diego Inventor’s Forum Issa’s departure is a positive for innovation.

So who will replace Rep. Issa on the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet? According to Gene Quinn and Steve Brachmann of IP Watchdog, the likely candidates are Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) if the Republicans maintain a majority in the House of Representatives, or Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), or possibly Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) if the Democrats wrest control of the House back in 2018.

While the future leadership of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet remains unclear at the moment, what is clear is that almost any of the aforementioned candidates, from either party, will be a welcome change to both inventors and technology-driven startups.

Brett Trout

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Posted in Internet Law, Patent Law.