ALEXANDRIA, VA. – Former Trump campaign communications adviser Michael Caputo called on the White House to reverse the Obama administration’s patent policies that he says hurt small businesses.
“It’s time for us to make patents great again. Patents are at the core of what makes America great,” Caputo said at an informal news conference on Friday outside the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va. accompanied by more than a dozen small-business innovators.
Caputo during his brief marks referenced a patent President Donald Trump’s uncle, John, who in conjunction with another MIT scientist, received for having invented an x-ray machine that revolutionized cancer treatment.
Caputo said the president’s uncle might not have been able to protect the invention from intellectual property theft under today’s patent system-which many of the small-business innovators in attendance argued favors well financed inventors and large corporate entities.
Caputo said he finds it regrettable that the White House has not taken action to protect small-business innovators.
“Unfortunately it looks like the Trump Administration is going to continue the same patent-hating policies that had been perused by the Obama administration,” he said.
Caputo told TMN on Thursday that he believes the White House is being pressured by Obama administration holdovers as well as Republicans opposed to Trump to maintain the status quo.
Several small-business innovators in attendance burned their patents in protest.
Paul Morinville, 54, of Holland, Ind., said he has been an inventor for nearly two decades and has been involved in software company startups.
Morinville said patents are often unenforceable.
“If you can’t enforce a patent it has no value,” he said.
Alan Beckley, 62, of Plano, Texas, said the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rulings often leave small inventors with few options.
“I believe there may be an appeal process, but if there is, it’s another set of judges that are also very sympathetic to the PTAB,” Beckley said.
Indeed, PTAB decisions may be appealed, and “if the PTAB makes a decision that is lacking in a legal basis, the matter can be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit,” according to California patent attorney Michael O’Brien.