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Intellectual property is a critical core of the American economy. Silicon Valley is fueled by new ideas that create the latest technology, service, or breakthrough biologic drug. If these ideas and inventions, otherwise known as “intellectual property,” are not protected, owners lose, as does America. It is imperative for the U.S. to have a balanced system that strongly protects intellectual property, while simultaneously encouraging new ideas.
Rep. Eshoo fully supports efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting, but has opposed H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) since it was introduced. During the 112th Congress, Rep. Eshoo led a bipartisan letter to leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, expressing opposition to the bill.
In the 112th Congress, Rep. Eshoo proudly supported a bipartisan, bicameral legislative alternative: H.R. 3782, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act. Rep. Eshoo believes the OPEN Act is a better alternative to fighting online piracy, while allowing American startups and Internet entrepreneurs to flourish.
The patent system protects intellectual property and it must promote innovation and invention, rather than confusion and litigation. A strong patent system that provides certainty in the application, review, and approval process will enable greater research and development of new technologies, stimulating the economy and creating new, high-paying jobs.
Our patent system currently suffers from a large backlog in processing patents and many have expressed concerns that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) needs additional expertise and resources to keep pace with the rapid innovation of the 21st Century. While additional investments in the USPTO have been made, additional reforms are needed to ensure that the PTO and the U.S. patent system are sound over the long term.
In order to ensure our patent system is able to respond to the rapid pace of innovation, it’s important for Congress to establish a better balance between the needs of innovators to produce new products without the burden of unnecessary patent litigation and the interests of inventors in their legitimate intellectual property.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Eshoo introduced H.R. 2582, the Patents And Trademarks Encourage New Technology (PATENT) Jobs Act. The PATENT Jobs Act would exempt the USPTO from the debilitating cuts imposed by budget sequestration.
Silicon Valley Patent Office
During the 112th Congress, Rep. Eshoo led the effort with several Members of the Bay Area delegation, urging the President to support a satellite Patent Office in Silicon Valley. With approximately 12 percent of all patents originating in Silicon Valley, Rep. Eshoo believes it is essential that the Patent Office have a local presence to support the innovation capital of our country.
In July 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the selection of Silicon Valley as one of three new U.S. Patent and Trademark satellite offices. More information about the new satellite office will be posted on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.
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