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Citizen-Inventor Sues U.S. Government Over Patent Law

A garage inventor who owns three patents is suing the U.S. government over the latest revision to U.S. patent law. Mark Stadnyk, 48, thinks the American Invents Act would favor large companies over smaller startups and individual inventors like himself, the New York Times reported. Some researchers, lawmakers and entrepreneurs share his opinion, but they are a minority. 

The America Invents Act, which Congress passed last fall, gives patents to the first person or company to file the patent. Before the act, patents went to the party that could show it had the idea first, using lab notebooks, correspondence and prototypes as proof. The new act was meant to speed the U.S. patent-granting process, which has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of patents. 

Opponents say the change favors larger companies, which are able to devote large staffs of lawyers to filing quickly. Stadnyk's suit says the America Invents Act violates the Constitution, which protects the rights of individual inventors. 

Stadnyk invented an adjustable motorcycle windshield after dealing with strong winds while riding at high speeds on a new bike he bought, the New York Times reported. He eventually quit his work as a computer consultant to start a company, MadStad Engineering, that provides windshields for many makes and models of motorcycles worldwide. He employs six people besides himself and his wife.

The government has until Thursday to reply to Stadnyk. The suit "faces long odds," according to legal experts the New York Times interviewed. 

Source: New York Times

This story was provided by InnovationNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow InnovationNewsDaily on Twitter @News_Innovation, or on Facebook.

Live Science Staff
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