President Donald Trump’s Administration has been the most conservative and government-reducing since at least Calvin Coolidge’s.
Trump has slashed regulations in a million different directions. He has appointed judges and a Supreme Court Justice who interpret the Constitution rather than rewrite it – which can only lead to less government. He has championed immigration law and border enforcement, which will curtail the massive influx of Third World government-money-recipients – which can only lead to less government.
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats have serially, repeatedly blocked Congressional Republicans’ attempts to join with Trump in reducing government. (That is, when Congressional Republicans aren’t themselves passing ridiculous government-expanding omnibus spending bills.)
We would like to see Republicans again return to their less government ways. And they have a great opportunity to do so – with the STRONGER Patents Act:
“Last week, Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced H.R. 5340, the Support Technology and Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience (STRONGER) Patents Act ‘in order to strengthen the United States’ crippled patent system.’
“Similar to an identically named measure introduced last summer in the Senate by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), the House version of the STRONGER Patents Act would align the standard used in district courts to ‘construe’ patent claims with the broader standard currently used in Patent Office trials and would apply the higher burden of proof used in district courts for invalidating a patent to that used in Patent Office proceedings.
“The measure would also make it easier for a patent holder to obtain an injunction halting sales of the infringing product following trial.
All of this makes a whole lot of sense – if you like less government, and the continued existence of our Information Economy. Our Information Economy is, of course, dominated by ideas – and the intellectual property (IP) these ideas beget.
For a while now – our government has behaved like we don’t like IP very much:
“For roughly a decade now, we have seen a steady weakening of patent rights in the U.S., undermining the ability of inventors to protect their innovations from infringement from large corporations and foreign entities. The STRONGER Patents Act says ‘enough is enough’ and ensures that patent rights are protected as a fundamental underpinning of our innovation economy.”
You say “innovation economy” – I say “Information Economy.” As we said as kids – same difference.
If we don’t get the government back to its Constitutional duty of protecting IP – we are all in a world of hurt.
Because the rest of the world is also in the Information Economy – and most of its nations aren’t participating in this anti-IP self-flagellation:
“As the result of a series of patent-weakening Supreme Court decisions, legislative changes and administrative measures over the last decade, the U.S. patent system is no longer considered the global gold standard for intellectual property rights. While the U.S. has been curtailing patent protections, our foreign competitors, such as China and Germany, have been moving to strengthen those protections and promote innovation in their countries. Notably, in 2016, the U.S. fell to 10th place in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s international ranking of patent system strength….”
This is just another piece of the ridiculous patchwork quilt of anti-Americanism we have for decades been weaving:
“This weakening of U.S. patent rights has led innovation – and the jobs and economic growth that go with it – to increasingly move overseas, along with the venture capital that funds so much of our start-up and entrepreneurial growth.”
Less domestic appreciation of ingenuity and entrepreneurship – means more of the ingenious and entrepreneurial leaving the country.
If we cut stupid one-sided, America Last trade deals (and we have, for half a century); if we tax and regulate the daylight out of people; if we undermine the protections of American inventors and their inventions – we should at least have the decency to not act surprised when America’s productive populace gets up and leaves.
And make no mistake: Strong IP protection is less government – in just the same way tax and regulatory reductions are. On both the front and back ends.
On the front end: If we restore strong IP protection – the avalanche of IP theft will eventually be reduced to a trickle.
The impetus to steal first and get sued later – drops dramatically if the thieves know the courts are again on the side of the IP creators.
And we get IP creators spending much less time, effort and money fending off IP thieves – and much more time creating IP. Here in the U.S. – rather than everywhere else on the planet.
Which brings us to the back end: IP creators staying here in the U.S. – freed up from having to defend their creations, because the government is back in the Constitutional business of defending it – allows them to create more IP…here in the U.S.
Which allows for much more creation…here in the U.S. And all the economic activity and job creation that inherently follows…here in the U.S.
More jobs – means less government money spent on government’s myriad welfare programs.
As the rising tide of our growing Information Economy lifts all our boats.
Here’s hoping Congress – is ready to get the U.S. back into IP-protection shipshape.
This first appeared in Red State.