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Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has been a fixture in political life, on her own or in support of her husband, for at least two generations. A review of her campaign website shows that she has taken a position on a great many issues, from national security to social security preservation to protecting voting rights to, healthcare, labor, and much more. Among her most elaborate positions relate to reforming Wall Street, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, and LGBT equality.

While Clinton’s record on patent matters is not extensive, when she was a U.S. Senator from the State of New York she never embraced patent reform despite it being an issue of great importance for the senior Senator from New York, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). In fact, during the 2008 Presidential Campaign Hillary Clinton publicly expressed opposition to patent reform because, in her view, it was bad for innovators.

Despite all the issues on which Clinton has taken a position, patents, technology or innovation are not matters she speaks on often. Notwithstanding, at a campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa, on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, Clinton did agree with a supporter that the patent rights of tech corporations should be suspended until they repatriate foreign profits and pay U.S. taxes. Under current U.S. law there is no authority to suspend patent rights, or to otherwise leverage patents for this purpose. The implementation of this position would require significant changes to U.S. patent laws.

Clinton has also called for an increase in funding for scientific research at agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Clinton also says on her website that it is her goal that the U.S. will generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 year of her taking office as President, how that will be accomplished is not explained. Clinton also pledges to the “a president for small business,” by supporting tax relief for America’s smallest businesses, making it easier to start a small business in the United States, and easing burdens on community banks that provide credit to small-business owners.

In a recent article discussing the changing face of Democratic Presidential Campaigns, technology policy consultant and intellectual property lobbyist Peter Harter wrote that a Clinton Administration would likely be influenced by lobbyists, lawyers and trade groups on issues relating to patent policy. Harter explained:

Will Clinton work on patent policy in the traditional way of lobbyists, lawyers, and industrial trade groups? Will her long tail of former staff and supporters flood the pool of talent working in her administration and thus shape much of the policy? If you look at who is backing her campaign and the Clinton’s power base the answer seems to likely be yes. In a Hillary Clinton Administration there would perhaps not be as much influence from academics as there has been during the Obama Administration, and given how Hillary’s Super PAC has struggled to raise money in Silicon Valley the tech elite likely won’t have the influence they currently enjoy at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue either.

A Brief Biography

Hillary Clinton has served as Secretary of State of the United States from January 21, 2009 to February 1, 2013. Clinton was also twice elected to serve in the United States Senate from New York, serving from January 3, 2001 to January 21, 2009. Prior to enter politics herself, Clinton was First Lady of the United States, and First Lady of Arkansas.

Clinton graduated from Wellesley College and then went to Yale Law School, where she was one of just 27 women in her graduating class. She met her husband Bill at law school, and the two would later marry and ultimately become one of American’s most enduring power couples.

After law school, Clinton worked for the Children’s Defense Fund in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and later served as a lawyer for the Congressional Committee investigating President Nixon.

Clinton moved to Arkansas where she taught law and ran legal clinics representing poor people. She co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, one of the state’s first child advocacy groups.

As First Lady of Arkansas, Clinton was a forceful champion for improving educational standards and health care access. As First Lady, Clinton led efforts to reform the health care system in the early 1990s, an unsuccessful effort that is credited in part with giving rise to Republicans gaining control of Congress.

In 2000, Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first woman senator from New York.

In 2008, Clinton ran for president, and enjoyed the status of frontrunner with an air of inevitability. When she came up short to win the Nomination of the Democrat party, she told her supporters, “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it.”

Once again Clinton finds herself a prohibitive favorite with little competition. As was the case in 2008, virtually everyone assumes she will be the Nominee of the Democrat party.


Page last updated January 12, 2016 at 4:28pm ET