We have an economic nightmare mess exploding overseas – and it’s now making its way to our shores. This is potentially disastrous for our economy – and the planet’s. Both now – and, especially, going forward.
At issue is foreign governments royally screwing United States company Qualcomm – in patent enforcement decisions. Qualcomm holds the patents. Qualcomm has contracts with computer-iPhone giant Apple – signed by Apple – in which Apple agrees to pay Qualcomm for use of said patents in their iPhones.
Apple now, suddenly doesn’t want to pay Qualcomm – and has asked these governments to allow them not to do so. And these governments are absurdly ruling in Apple’s favor.
This is potentially catastrophic for our economy – and everyone else’s. If we don’t protect intellectual property (IP) today – no one will create IP tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the days, weeks, months and years to follow.
Say you’re a farmer. Would you invest your time, effort and money to till, plant, nurture and grow your crops – if any and every clown could come along after the fact and take your produce?
Of course not. Because – human nature. Ditto with IP. Back to Apple’s selfish anti-IP campaign.
In January, Apple sued Qualcomm here in the U.S. to try to get out of the contracts they signed. And on the way out the door, the anti-IP Barack Obama Administration had its Federal Trade Commission (FTC) follow suit – by filing suit.
In April – with no court decisions rendered and zero legal authority to do so – Apple spontaneously announced they would simply stop paying Qualcomm for their patents.
Apple also took their anti-Qualcomm, anti-IP government cronyism international.
In China and South Korea, Apple also challenged the Qualcomm contracts they themselves signed. And China and South Korea ignored these contracts – and in South Korea’s case their own laws and courtroom procedures (because China is not so much with the laws and courtroom procedures) – and sided with Apple.
Shocker: Not all governments are as nice as ours. Oh – and don’t be surprised if other governments follow China and South Korea’s lead – and also start screwing Qualcomm. Because most of them aren’t very nice either.
Shocker: China and South Korea did this for national-self-serving reasons. (Only in America – within the American Left – is national self-interest considered to be a bad thing.)
Start with the fact that China (Huawei) and South Korea (Samsung) have home-grown companies – that are Qualcomm competitors. And currently, Qualcomm is kicking their keisters all over the planet.
So China and South Korea reveled in the opportunity to warp the marketplace to their respective companies’ advantage – by rendering these ridiculous decisions against Qualcomm. Anti-IP domestic cronyism on parade.
And Apple does a whole lot of manufacturing in China. So in ridiculously ruling for Apple, China was, again, engaging in what was in essence domestic cronyism.
Qualcomm is getting royally screwed – in multiple directions. And now they are doing what they absolutely must – are being forced to do. They are fighting for their right to continue to exist.
Qualcomm has filed a lawsuit. Very reasonably asking U.S. regulators to block domestic importation and sale of the iPhones which contain their patents – but for which they were not paid. Blocking the importation and sale of stolen goods – being routine U.S. government procedure.
Paging President Trump.
This unbelievable, global Qualcomm nonsense violates at least three fundamental tenets of Candidate Trump’s campaign.
Trump ran on America First. And this ongoing Qualcomm abuse – is absolutely a continuation of Obama’s America Last approach.
Trump ran on Fair Trade. Which he rightly defined as every nation – not just ours – engaging in free trade. These Qualcomm absurdities by China and South Korea – are the antithesis of fair trade.
Trump ran on opposition to IP theft – specifically, repeatedly naming China. IP theft is exactly in what China and South Korea are engaged here.
Perhaps most absurd of all, DC bureaucratic inertia has meant that the Obama FTC’s ridiculous lawsuit against Qualcomm – has continued moving forward within the Trump FTC.
That would be a very easy first thing to undo. But the Trump Administration absolutely shouldn’t stop there.
The Administration should apply all of their campaign tenets – and the full weight of the United States government and all the negotiating power of our massive economy – to these domestic and international assaults on our abused companies, IP and actually-free-trade.
Swiftly, forcefully end China and South Korea’s abuse of the U.S.’s Qualcomm.
Which will serve as a visual aide to all governments everywhere going forward.
There’s a new Sheriff in DC – and this one ain’t standing idly by while the outlaws rob our stagecoaches.
You want America First, Mister President? Here’s a harmonic convergence opportunity to prove it.
This first appeared in Red State.