Stivers pushes patent reform


By Jessica Wehrman

Dispatch Washington Bureau

Rep. Steve Stivers is pushing legislation that he hopes will reform a patent system that he and other lawmakers worry has undergone dramatic deterioration over the past few years.

Stivers, an Upper Arlington Republican, and Rep. Bill Foster, an Illinois Democrat, are pushing a bill that would undo changes to the patent system imposed over the last decade that they say have resulted in the U.S. dropping from the top ranked patent system in the world to the 12th, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The bill, also cosponsored by Rep. Warren Davidson, a Troy Republican, would require courts to treat a patent like any other property right and limit the amount of times the U.S. Patent and Trade Office can reconsider a patent. In doing so, Stivers said, the bill would undo a patent enforcement system that has encouraged businesses to steal intellectual property rather than pay licensing fees and that has ultimately undermined investor confidence in technology intensive small businesses.

“We’re never going to have the lowest amount of taxes in the world, we’ll never have the lowest wages in the world, but we always had the best innovation in the world,” said Stivers. “If we lose innovation, we lose our advantage.”

“We have to get the law to work again,” Davidson said.