Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, March 01, 2010

Don't Overhaul U.S. Patent System

Anytime we hear politicians talking about "reform," we should be on our guard. Reform is a word that covers a lot of legislative mischief. There's much talk right now in congressional cloakrooms about reform of our nation's patent system because it's old. That's no argument. The fact that it's 220 years old, and is responsible for America producing nearly all the great inventions of the world, should be a reason not to tamper with a system that has worked so well. The property right of inventors is one of our most important constitutional rights.

American innovation is the engine of our high standard of living. For years, foreign corporations have been trying to destroy our innovation superiority under the code word "harmonization." Foreigners and globalists say we should harmonize our patent law with foreign law, down to the levels of the unfair European and Japanese systems, or to the system of China, which specializes in intellectual property theft. It used to be that when we thought of pirates we had the mental image of a movie star sailing the high seas in an 18th century sailboat. Now, pirates are Asians sitting at their computers roaming the internet to steal the designs of our inventions.

The Senate held a hearing on patent law changes, but the Democrats didn't invite a single manufacturing firm to testify, even though U.S. manufacturers do 3/4th of our nation's research and development. A third of all inventions are made by independent inventors, small manufacturers, universities and non-profit research groups, but they were excluded from the hearing. It was dominated by the very large companies, which want the law changed to make it easier to challenge existing patents in extended litigation after a patent is issued. Tell your Senators to vote No on any change to our unique and very successful American patent law.

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