Skip to Content

Press Releases

Massie Introduces Patent Reform Legislation Restoring "First to Invent" Protection to Inventors

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C.- Representative Thomas Massie announces the introduction of patent reform legislation designed to restore to Americans a patent system "as the Constitution of the United States originally envisioned it." Massie's legislation, HR 5874, the "Restoring America's Leadership in Innovation Act of 2021" (RALIA), reverses several harmful changes to patent law that arose from Supreme Court rulings and the enactment of the Leahy-Smith "America Invents Act." Among the significant reforms contained in Massie's legislation is a return to the "first to invent" standard to ensure patent protection for America's inventors.


"The RALIA legislation restores to Americans a patent system as the Constitution of the United States originally envisioned it," said Congressman Massie. "In Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers gave Congress the authority to protect the discoveries of inventors. Specifically, they created a patent system to 'promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.' Regrettably, Congress's 2011 enactment of the Leahy-Smith 'America Invents Act' has worked in concert with several Supreme Court decisions to erode this protection's strength and value."


"As the Constitution intends, RALIA restores patent protection to inventors by awarding patents on a 'first to invent' basis rather than the more recently adopted 'first to file' standard," Congressman Massie continued. "A return to a 'first to invent' patent protection system ensures that inventors and the investors who back them can be confident that their innovative work and ideas will be safeguarded. Patents should protect those who innovate, not those who win the race to the patent office."


In addition to restoring patent protections to a "first to invent" standard, RALIA contains other important reforms to the patent system. Notably, RALIA affirms that a patent secures private property rights, repeals administrative post-grant reviews, abolishes the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and ends the automatic publication of patent applications unless a patent is granted. 


Congressman Massie's RALIA legislation is supported by organizations including the American Business Defense Council, American Conservative Union, Americans for Limited Government/Americans for Limited Government Foundation, Conservatives for Property Rights, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund,  Let Freedom Ring, 60 Plus, the Small Business Technology Council, U.S. Business & Industry Council, U.S. Inventor, and Vote America First.  In offering their endorsement of the bill, the Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund wrote, "a wide range of reforms, such as those contained in the Restoring America's Leadership in Innovation Act, are required if the U.S. patent system is to secure private property rights, promote progress of science and useful arts, and ensure that America remains the world's innovation leader."


Original cosponsors of RALIA include Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA).

A copy of HR 5874 may be seen here.  



Back to top