Another Obama-Undoing Great Idea: Plug the Obama-Era Holes In Our Patent Protections
Before - and After
It’s been amusing - and more than a mite disturbing - to watch the Barack Obama Contingent spend the entirety of the Donald Trump Administration freaking the heck out.
A particularly interesting wrinkle - has been the Obama Contingent spending the first year-plus screeching (correctly) that Trump was (rightly) undoing everything Obama had done.
Undoing the awful Obama policies worked - utterly unsurprisingly - and we emerged from the awful Obama economy into the sunlight.
The Obama Contingent then ridiculously tried to claim the newfound successes…were thanks to Obama. Whose policies they had just got done whining about Trump thoroughly undoing.
This is the Obama Contingent hoping we forget both what they said - and that there is an Internet that never does.
What nationally syndicated radio host (and full disclosure: a friend) Chris Plante calls Newsheimers.
But for anyone not steadfastly impervious to facts - the evidence is in. Undoing Obama policy - is good policy.
One vitally important policy area that has not yet received the serious Obama undoing required - is Intellectual Property (IP). And most shamefully, in this spate of awfulness - Obama had Congressional Republican help:
“In this the Digital Age and the Information Economy – Intellectual Property and its protections have only become even more important than that.
“So why did we spend the entirety of the Barack Obama Administration undermining it all?
“The Administration spent its eight years issuing all sorts of regulations and rulings – and filing all sorts of lawsuits – all designed to undermine IP.
“Republicans were hardly better. In sickening pursuit of Silicon Valley political coin, they gleefully drafted and passed the very awful, very-awfully-misnamed America Invents Act.
“Which – like the Affordable Care Act – did the exact opposite of what the name suggests. It strip mined IP protections from anyone inventing anything.
“And of course, the-most-anti-IP-President-ever Obama – gleefully signed it.
“The result? When Obama entered the White House, the US was on the global innovation ranking list – consistently #1 or very close to it.
“By the time we were rid of Obama?
“Intellectual Property Crisis: U.S. Drops Out Of The Top Ten In Innovation Ranking.”
Almost inarguably the worst part of the misnamed America Invents Act?
“‘The (United States Patent and Trademark Office) USPTO is no longer so friendly towards…patents. In fact, many such patents that have been granted are nowadays being invalidated.…The judges at (the Patent Trial and Advisory Board) PTAB…continue to nuke…patents.’
“Well that’s fantastic.
“DC has reverse-engineered the government entity responsible for issuing patents – to now destroy patents. Patents that government entity its own self had issued – are now destroyed by that same government entity.
“This is insane.
“This is the USPTO saying ‘Congratulations, you have a patent.’ And then saying ‘Psyche. We were just kidding.’…
“Far too frequently – at the behest of huge companies far larger than are you or I.
“Big Government and Big Business win.
“We the Little Guys – We the People – lose.
“As does our nation – and our nations economy.”
The ridiculous PTAB is a fundamental contributor to our precipitous drop off the global IP stage.
Congressional Republicans - have a chance to redeem themselves.
“Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) (has) introduced the Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act of 2018 (H.R. 6264). This legislation would reverse many of the harms that have been caused by recent changes to the patent laws from all three branches of government….
“The USPTO, through the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), has been systematically invalidating worthwhile patents based on flawed procedures that are easily abused….(T)hese changes have done substantial damage to our innovation economy. This new bill will reverse many of these recent changes….
“Section 5 abolishes the PTAB. The PTAB is a terrible example of regulatory overreach….The legislation instead recreates the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, which existed prior to the AIA and handled the administrative appeals and trials that occurred under the prior system….”
Massie’s bill - rightly kills the PTAB. And restores its precursor system. You know, the system in place when we were #1 in the world in IP protection - and thus creation.
And Massie’s bill does a lot of other very good things.
Why is Massie’s bill so extraordinarily good?
“Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) never intended to run for office or become a politician when he was majoring in electrical and mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 'I look forward to returning to my prior life of inventing and working on my farm,’ Massie (said)….
“Inventors and others who believe in the importance of patents to the U.S. economy no doubt hope that Congressman Massie, himself an inventor with two dozen U.S. patents to his credit, is in no great rush to return to his entrepreneurial life – running his own company built on the inventions he made….
“‘I can tell you, every day Congress is in session there are lobbyists here trying to weaken the patent system,” Massie explained.
“In Massie’s words, those companies that come to Capitol Hill and lobby to weaken the patent system want to get into new fields, but the problem is they didn’t invent in those fields, so they face problems. Patent problems.
“A lot of those companies want to become automobile manufacturers, or cell phone manufacturers, or they want to write software for operating systems, but they didn’t invent in those areas and they don’t own the patents that have historically been the touchstone of innovation ownership.
“‘They’d love to just come in and start playing in those fields and start using their size and scale as an advantage, and to them, patents look like a hindrance,’ Massie explained. ‘They are here in Congress looking to weaken patents and they are not just interested in weakening patents issued in the future, they are looking to weaken all patents.’”
It’s shameful so many Republicans listened to these anti-IP vested interests - and passed the awful America Invents Act. (Massie wasn’t yet in Congress.)
Republicans can diminish said shame - by rallying behind Massie’s bill.
I’m quite sure President Trump will happily sign it.
Thereby undoing yet another awful piece of the anti-economy, awful Obama legacy.
This first appeared in Red State.