Patent protection access bill signed into law

Originally published by Financial Regulation News on October 16, 2018

By Douglas Clark

Legislation designed to help small businesses safeguard their intellectual property with expanded education on obtaining and protecting patents was recently signed into law by President Donald Trump.

The Small Business Innovation Protection Act seeks to build upon existing outreach programs run by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), to better inform small businesses on domestic and international intellectual property protections. The legislation was introduced by Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), James Risch (R-ID) and Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, and Congressman Dwight Evans (D-PA).

“Michigan’s small businesses are creating some of the most innovative goods and services in the world, but many have difficulty navigating the domestic and international patent system with limited resources and expertise,” Peters said. “Under this new law, entrepreneurs who can’t afford a team of patent lawyers will have more assistance in protecting their intellectual property so they can continue to grow their businesses here at home.”

Officials said U.S. intellectual property is estimated to be worth over $5 trillion and 60 percent of all American exports are driven through intellectual property-intensive industries while patent protection helps innovators recoup the cost of research and development, profit off their inventions, hire new employees and bolster their local economy.

“We know that small businesses are critical to job creation and the overall economic strength of our country, both in the middle neighborhoods in cities like Philadelphia and in the new and growing tech-based economy,” Evans said. “Creating and supporting their growth is essential to helping entrepreneurs prosper.”