There's a bill in Congress that could affect entrepreneurs in a really bad way.  The Patent Reform Act of 2011 was expected to pass a few weeks ago.  Thank goodness it hasn't - yet.  After cries from engineers and patent attorneys, Congress paused and is reconsidering the bill.  Action is now expected in mid-June and if Congress doesn't hear from voters, the bill might still pass.  In this case, the "reform" is not a good thing. Here's why.

Stop This Bill Before You Get Bitten

According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an organization that opposes this bill and of which I am a member, the heart of the issue is that this Act will convert the U.S. from a "first to invent" country into a "first to file" country. This is extremely bad for small businesses, which make up the backbone of our country.

If this legislation passes, patents will be granted to the first person to file for a new invention as opposed to the first person who actually invents something.  This means that if an entrepreneur or small business creates a new innovation and does not have the finances or legal help to file a patent, anyone else can come along - such as big business - and steal the idea and file a patent.

This could have devastating ramifications to small businesses because most innovation in our country comes from entrepreneurs.  Also, the bill does little to improve the quality of patents or of patent examiners.

Please contact your member of Congress and ask him/her to vote AGAINST the Patent Reform Act of 2011 in its current form because it is bad for small business.  Click to find your representative.

The Washington Times also has a more detailed article on this: read more.

What do you think? Post your comment below - and be sure to contact Congress today before it's too late.