Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 7259

Should the ‘Patents for Humanity’ Program Be Codified Into Law & Winners Granted Transferrable Certificates?

Argument in favor

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s “Patents for Humanity Program” plays an important role in encouraging innovation for humanitarian causes. Without a clear financial incentive, these causes are often neglected by innovators and profit-driven companies; so this program plays an important role in rewarding and encouraging humanitarian innovation. Making Patents for Humanity program accelerated review certificates transferable and codifying the program into law, as this bill does, would strengthen the program and broaden its impact.

JunnaLayn's Opinion
···
06/26/2020
Any action toward solving the enormous issues we face is good by me!
Like (10)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

The “Patents for Humanity Program” is already well-structured as is so there’s no need to codify it into law. Making the accelerated patent review certificates it awards to innovators transferable could potentially incentivize innovators to sell their accelerated patent review certificates to others who don’t share their passion for humanitarian innovation, or whose innovations don’t meet humanitarian needs.

Just.Dave's Opinion
···
06/26/2020
I don't trust anything the house is trying to do, especially in an election year... obviously a ploy for votes... This is the party that claims to be of the people for the people, and then shows just the opposite with their actions. Like with the police reform... They say they want to help you out, but walk away from debate... Thankfully I'm not the only one that has noticed. Utah has had a large number of people registering for the Republican party, many even switching from the democratic party! Your blue tsunami is looking more like a blue flush every day!
Like (8)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 7259?

This bill, the Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act, would strengthen incentives for innovators to use their talents to solve global humanitarian challenges by supporting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) “Patents for Humanity” competition. This competition recognizes inventors who develop creative solutions to global humanitarian problems and awards inventors certificates for accelerated review of any future patents. Under this bill, the acceleration certificates granted under the Patents for Humanity competition would become transferable and the program would be codified into law.

Impact

Innovators; the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patents for Humanity Program.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 7259

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) introduced this legislation to strengthen incentives for innovators to use their talents to solve global humanitarian challenges through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) “Patents for Humanity” competition:

“We must uplift those who use their skills to develop technology and ideas that benefit our world. The ‘Patents for Humanity Program’ is a wonderful example of this country coming together to solve problems that impact millions, and I’m proud that our bill strengthens that program while giving innovators more freedom to support one another.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA) adds:

“Applying for a patent is often an arduous process that discourages many from pursuing their talents. This legislation helps foster innovation and provides accelerated review of future patents so that inventors can more easily achieve their dreams.”

In April 2017, USPTO Attorney Advisor and Patents for Humanity Program manager Edward Elliott wrote that patents are important even for innovators who plan to give their technology away:

“We have found from our winners that patents can be very worthwhile, even for those who plan to give their technology away… [P]atents can help in securing funding, forming partnerships and attracting talent, particularly for small organizations. Patents also enable dual-licensing business models for technologies that have uses in both the developed and developing world. Under such models, the invention may be provided at affordable prices very close to the manufacturing cost in developing regions, while it is offered to consumers at standard commercial prices in advanced economies… In some models, sales from industrialized nations can be used to fund activities in developing regions. For more than 200 years, patents have supported technological and economic progress in industrialized nations. As we strive to bring the benefits of modern technology to the rest of humanity, patents continue to play an essential role in creating lasting solutions.”

This legislation has three bipartisan House cosponsors, including two Republicans and one Democrat. Last Congress, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a version of this bill in the Senate with one cosponsor, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and it didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteSince 2012, the USPTO’s Patents for Humanity program has given 21 awards to a broad range of organizations, including small and medium-sized companies, startups, universities, and nonprofits. Any individual, corporation, nonprofit, small business, academic institution, or government agency who has applied for, owns, or licenses a U.S. patent is eligible to apply for the program.

Patents for Humanity winners are recognized in the fields of medicine, nutrition, sanitation, energy, and living standards; they receive an acceleration certificate to expedite patent application proceedings at the USPTO and public recognition of their accomplishment.

Past innovations recognized by the Patents for Humanity program include better ways to diagnose and treat HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases; improved crop management; energy sources for those without access to reliable electric grids; and methods to preserve clean drinking water and improve sanitation.

Prior to the Patents for Humanity program’s inception, patent law blog PatentlyO contended that the U.S. patent system was an unintentional source of frustration to legislators due to the market-driven approach to innovation often steering focus away from humanitarian causes without a clear opportunity for financial gain.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Bill Oxford)

AKA

Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act

Official Title

To allow acceleration certificates awarded under the Patents for Humanity Program to be transferable.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedJune 18th, 2020
    Any action toward solving the enormous issues we face is good by me!
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    I don't trust anything the house is trying to do, especially in an election year... obviously a ploy for votes... This is the party that claims to be of the people for the people, and then shows just the opposite with their actions. Like with the police reform... They say they want to help you out, but walk away from debate... Thankfully I'm not the only one that has noticed. Utah has had a large number of people registering for the Republican party, many even switching from the democratic party! Your blue tsunami is looking more like a blue flush every day!
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    @Just.Dave: Be careful what you wish for. https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2020/06/20/utah-gop-registrations/
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    I think encouraging innovation for humanitarian causes is a good thing, and I would like to see the program’s impact strengthened.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    I believe both Democrats and Republicans can support this bill. It inspires a whole new generation of creativity and innovation. I have always strongly believed that scientific progress is vital for any civilization to thrive. We need to begin looking for new solutions to climate change and we need to create energy efficient transportation, lighting, etc. Innovators and inventors are what we need in these modern times.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Anything that looks towards innovation and keeps our country moving forward is something I want to stand behind. While I prefer people using their intuition and abilities for their own gain, I think that putting incentives to take more risks will work out for us
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    I like this! Great bill! Saving lives and inspiration at the same time! Needs more bipartisanship!
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    “Make America Great again” let us make our own products and better our nation.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Let’s create programs that lift people up and make the government fully accountable for using tax payer monies.
    Like
    Follow
    Share
    Really?
    Like
    Follow
    Share