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Intellectual Property: Constitutional, and Crucial to Economic and National Security

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org
Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org
Unsecured IP –
Is a Bad Idea

The Founding Fathers – were exceedingly intelligent individuals.  They established for us with their Constitution a framework – which allowed us to create the most successful society in humanity’s history.

And the Founding Fathers – loved Intellectual Property (IP).  Because they knew how vital its protection was to their fledgling nation.

Behold the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8:

“The Congress shall have Power 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….”

That means patents, trademarks and copyrights.

Two-and-a-half centuries later – nothing has changed about IP and its protection.

We are in the very early stages of the global Information Economy.  Where more and more things of value – are digital rather than physical.

As but one example:

Almost no one anymore purchases vinyl records or compact discs.  Does that mean music and its industry are dead?  Of course not.  People are purchasing digital versions of the tunes that used to be on wax or plastic.

But old principles – apply to new formats.

Downloading-without-payment the music you want – is stealing.  In exactly the same way walking out of a Tower Records with un-purchased product – was stealing.

IP – is IP.  No matter in what form or format it exists.

IP protection – is vital to our economic security.

As but one example:

We spend the hundreds of billions of dollars necessary to invent things.  Then the mass heists begin.

Individual actors stealing us blind is bad enough.  Nations like Communist China – steal our IP as national industrial policy.

China steals our IP – to the tune of between $225 billion and $600 billion every single year.

And the US has spent decades – doing absolutely nothing about it.

Which means we have spent decades – handing Communist China a multi-trillion-dollar head start on the Information Economy that is now underway.

Which is an ongoing, rolling, titanic breach of our economic security.

And quite often – a national security breach as well.

As but one example:

The world is currently in a race to the 5G (Fifth Generation) wireless network.  This is a quantum leap forward from 4G – as it will birth the Internet of Things.  Where just about every inanimate object everywhere – will be connected to the Web.

Just as we are finally becoming more aware of the massive privacy problems of the Internet – we are about to incalculably increase the data we upload to it.

The way the wireless world works is: The country that gets to 5G first – gets to set the global standards.

The US has been first to each previous network upgrade – which means we’ve so far always set the standards.

And we have been first in the world at each stage – thanks almost exclusively to San Diego, California company Qualcomm.

Qualcomm Leading All The Way

Qualcomm Wireless Leadership Wins Out

Qualcomm Raises Wireless Stakes with Full 5G Modules and More RF Offerings

Setting the global standards for 5G – is orders-of-magnitude more important than doing so for all previous generations combined.

And right now, the race to get there is between US…and Communist China.  And that means the race is largely between Qualcomm – and Communist China’s Huawei.

Chinese Government Helps Huawei with 5G

Huawei a Key Beneficiary of China Subsidies that US Wants Ended

The History of Tech Giant Huawei and the Chinese Government

The nation that sets the 5G standards – can ostensibly establish all sorts of network theft, blocking and outright shutdown protocols on the network.  A catastrophic national security nightmare mess in waiting.

I am quite sure the US and Qualcomm won’t do anything like that.  I am nowhere near as confident about Communist China and Huawei.

And it ain’t just us thinking this way when it comes to IP protection, the 5G wireless race – and our economic and national security.

Behold the United States Department of Justice (DoJ).  Actually, very much of the entire Donald Trump Administration.

Qualcomm is currently continuing to face a dire and very ridiculous lawsuit filed by the Barack Obama Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

On which a dire and very ridiculous ruling was delivered by uber-activist, anti-IP, Obama-appointee Judge Lucy Koh.  Whose unilateral inanity threatens to destroy Qualcomm – and the entirety of patent licensing in the US and the world.

Qualcomm has filed an appeal – and for a stay on Koh’s ridiculous ruling.

On which the Trump Administration has weighed in.  It filed a “Statement of Interest Concerning Qualcomm’s Motion for Partial Stay of Injunction Pending Appeal.”  In which it sounded many of the very alarms we have above (and many, many times before).

Some of the very many really important excerpts therefrom:

“In the view of the Executive Branch, diminishment of Qualcomm’s competitiveness in 5G innovation and standard-setting would significantly impact U.S. national security.”

“In these rare circumstances, the interest in preventing even a risk to national security – ‘an urgent objective of the highest order’ – presents reason enough not to enforce the remedy immediately.”

“For DoD, Qualcomm is a key player both in terms of its trusted supply chain and as a leader in innovation, and it would be impossible to replace Qualcomm’s critical role in 5G technology in the short-term. For that reason, DoD is seriously concerned that any detrimental impact on Qualcomm’s position as a global leader would adversely affect its ability to support national security.”

— Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.

“The Department [of Energy] is concerned that the unique role played by Qualcomm in the U.S. telecommunications supply chain would not be filled by another U.S. entity, thereby allowing foreign-aligned firms to advance and drive the development and intellectual property underpinnings of international 5G standards instead of the U.S.”

— Max Everett, Department of Energy Chief Information Officer.

“This is a critical time in the development of the 5G landscape in terms of standard setting. The decisions that are made now will have ramifications for decades and weakened U.S. industry leadership in this area would ripple into the future. Without the voice of U.S. industry, other competitor nations could stifle standards that support innovation, competitiveness, and an open ecosystem—in favor of standards which would support the parochial goals of a single state-owned company.”

— Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.

“5G capable handsets are being prepared by manufacturers today for deployment over the next two years, and critical standards decisions on the more advanced features and technologies that drive 5G will occur over that same time period. If Qualcomm is not able to compete and provide chipsets for those handsets, or fully engage in the standards process, foreign entities that may not support supply chain secure solutions may make irreversible gains in the chipset market and 5G standards.”

— Max Everett, Department of Energy Chief Information Officer.

US economic and national security – direly threatened by a single activist judge’s anti-Constitutional ruling.

Reminding us yet again:

The further removed from the Constitution something is – the more awful and damaging that something is.

Here’s hoping we can pull this Obama-legacy-induced looming catastrophe – back from the precipice of the abyss.

This first appeared in Red State.

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