Inventors Protest US Patent Bill

Legislation in the US Senate which would limit damages for patent infringement and allow patents to be more easily challenged has sparked protests among some inventors. Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and holder of 440 patents, was one of a group of inventors who have testified to the US Senate against the proposed law. The bill is being supported by Microsoft and Cisco, which claim that they are at the mercy of companies that own a patent on small portions of much larger applications and use this to reap substantial pay outs. Kamen, however, warned that the legislation, if passed, would be disproportionately harmful to inventors.

"You do not shut down the national pastime of baseball because some players are using steroids," Kamen told the San José Mercury News. "You can go after 'trolls' and other bad actors without unintended consequences that are harmful."

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