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Posts Tagged: "politics"

Sage Advice on Rising Above Petty Partisanship from Senator Robert Dole

Former Senator Robert Dole turned 97 last week, but he’s still very much engaged in what’s going on right now. He just wrote a powerful op-ed, Innovation is key to defeating COVID-19. Subtitled “Enacted 40 years ago, the Bayh-Dole Act is helping facilitate the development of coronavirus therapies today,” Senator Dole reviews how the law he crafted with former Senator Birch Bayh revolutionized the commercialization of federally-funded inventions. Bayh-Dole paved the way for companies like Moderna to create critically needed therapies to combat our raging pandemic. But there’s another message Senator Dole delivered that’s just as topical.

Efforts to Villainize Biotech, Pharma over COVID-19 are Political Theater and Opportunism

If the objective is to beat this virus as fast as possible it simply isn’t helpful to talk about the compulsory licensing of drugs that don’t yet exist and the patents that can’t possibly be issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for at least the next two to three years. The COVID-19 crisis will be long since over by the time the first patent issues relating to anything specifically related to COVID-19. Yet somehow it is viewed as productive to demand compulsory licensing of vaccines, treatments and cures for COVID-19 that do not exist?

Are Today’s Social Media Tech Giants the Big Brother that Orwell Warned Us About?

Dystopian novels and science fiction often return to the subject of the loss of personal privacy which is often encouraged by the use of technology enabling constant, omnipresent surveillance. Perhaps the most famous example of this in the science fiction canon of the 20th century is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. First published in 1949, Orwell’s novel conceives of a world where government surveillance is so complete that the vast majority of citizens don’t mind being watched by two-way telescreens in their own apartments. Even the novel’s rebellious protagonist Winston Smith comes around at the end to fall prey to the same cult of personality that allows the government overseer — Big Brother — to remain in power… With concerns over the use of personal data fresh in the mainstream news, we’ll run a series of articles that will take a closer look at U.S. tech giants both in terms of the types of data they track and the purposes for which that data is used.

Senate Commerce Committee seems comfortable with Wilbur Ross as Secretary of Commerce

In his opening remarks, Ross noted that he had been a consumer of various forms of data published by various agencies within the commerce department. He seemed attuned to the importance of data collection and dissemination, noting that 40 percent of publicly disseminated data from all federal agencies comes from the Department of Commerce. With experience operating businesses in 23 countries, Ross was confident in his ability to negotiate foreign trade agreements to the benefit of the American economy. “I know directly what’s good and what’s not good about trade policies in other countries,” Ross said. He added that he was neither pro-trade nor anti-trade but rather pro-sensible trade, which he defined as being supportive of trade deals which were good for American workers and businesses.

Is Michelle Lee Refusing to Leave the USPTO?

I learned from a credible source that Lee was either refusing to resign or perhaps attempting to revoke her letter of resignation. Shortly thereafter I was told that senior Obama officials were upset with what was happening at the Patent Office and that Lee had “gone rogue.” I reached out to the Patent Office for comment, suggesting I was happy to accept even a denial of this rather bizarre and difficult to believe story. The Patent Office has not made anyone available to confirm, deny, rebut or refute this version of events.

PTO Director Needed – Swamp Resistance Desirable

If someone were there to speak for America that person would recognize the obvious. There is no historical evidence of any economy having a thriving innovation ecosystem without a solid, strong patent system. Similarly, one of the greatest threats faced by any business, particularly a start-up or small business, is the threat of frivolous litigation. But where is the honest broker to acknowledge truth? If there is one I don’t see it, and as one who has spent a career helping innovators of all stripes I find that rather odious. Someone, somewhere (and not, please oh please, not an academic) needs to come forward and speak to what the system needs to accomplish for the benefit of the population beyond those in the swamp.

Could Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg join the Trump Administration?

Text messages sent between Andreesen and Erskine Bowles speak to Zuckerberg’s desire to be able to maintain control of Facebook while possibly serving two years in government… The fact that Zuckerberg is open to serving in government might actually carry some sway with the Trump transition team, which includes a Facebook connection through Peter Thiel… Given Zuckerberg’s stances on Internet issues, one possible position for Zuckerberg could be at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Wilbur Ross: Zero Tolerance of IP Theft

Wilbur Ross, Trump’s nominee to run Commerce, has a zero tolerance for IP theft, which indicates a possible change in direction for US patent policy… Ross has a long view on the American economy and has had some exposure to patents. Many of the manufacturing, textile and telecommunications companies he has refinanced owned patents. Ross as the “bankruptcy king” or “vulture capitalist” dealt with patents as one of the many assets to use to help turn around a distressed company. Using patents as collateral for a loan should not be controversial or exotic.

Pence, Conservative Views on Patents Likely to Influence Trump

Congressman Pence worked mostly on patent reform bills via the Republican Study Committee, a well-known group of House Republicans focused on inserting conservative views into public policy including respect for the Constitution and private property rights… During the time Pence served as Governor of Indiana, Purdue University soared to a record numbers of new patents, record numbers of technology licenses and record numbers of start ups based on Purdue University innovations… In July, Governor Pence signed an Executive Order establishing the Indiana Economic Development Corporation as the entity that will coordinate all efforts on behalf of the State of Indiana to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship. Perhaps most interesting, the Order specifically acknowledges that increased innovation helps make communities more vibrant and spurs economic growth, higher wages and job creation.

Trump on IP and Patent Reform: What Silicon Valley Doesn’t Understand

Of course, the implication being if you are not in favor of a never ending revision of U.S. patent laws then you are somehow an ignorant rube not paying attention to the overwhelming consensus in the industry that vast new patent reform measures are desperately necessary to save America from the evils of innovators hell bent on innovating… Trump not having a clear, well-defined position on a patent reform agenda just means he is paying attention.

Inventors Protest California Congressman Darrell Issa

In my 54 years, I’ve never protested anything. I’ve complained to my friends and family and sometimes to a few unfortunate strangers. So this has been the first time publicly protesting anything for me… Darrell Issa was a cosponsor and a major political driver of this startup killing legislation, which is why inventors are going to his events to educate him and his potential voters. Issa’s race is very close with some polls showing him down by several points. His competitor believes in strong patents. This draws a clear distinction between the candidates and inventors and startups in California’s 49th district want to be represented by someone who will preserve their rights, and their companies.

Trump targeted in copyright infringement action over Skittles tweet filed by former refugee photographer

Trump, no stranger to lawsuits himself, can now count U.S. district courts as the latest venue where his position could be on the decline. A suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (N.D. Ill.) lists Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Mike Pence and a series of 10 Does as defendants in a copyright infringement action. At the center of the lawsuit is a picture of a bowl of Skittles, which was used for a now-infamous metaphor for the Syrian refugee crisis. The copyright infringement action was brought by David Kittos, a British photographer, who claims that the Skittles tweet published by Donald Trump Jr. used a copyright protected image created by Kittos.

Dear Candidate: Is patent reform a catalyst for future innovation in the US?

Patent reform is a subject that most Americans are unfamiliar with. Additionally, significant lobbying efforts and financial resources dedicated by large corporations have confused the subject further. Nevertheless, patent reform is a critical issue for our country. Will the U.S. patent system continue to be the fuel that fires genius, to paraphrase President Abraham Lincoln, or will the U.S. patent system continue to throw cold water on the spark of innovative entrepreneurism in America? I’d like to know, and the American public deserves to know, if the candidates are aware of just how cumbersome, one-sided and unfair the U.S. patent system has become.

Clinton tech agenda supports STEM education, infrastructure upgrades for Internet access

Clinton’s tech agenda revolves around five main points that she hopes will lead to American dominance in research and development as well as overall innovation. First, she’s pledged to devote resources to educational innovations that will position U.S. workers well for the well-paying tech jobs of today and the near future. Second, she’s pushing for major infrastructure upgrades that she argues will bring broadband Internet access to a much wider audience. Her third point focuses on protecting American tech export interests to countries abroad. Her fourth agenda point discusses a framework by which concepts of the open Internet as well as personal privacy can be balanced. Finally, her fifth point hones in on the ways that technology can make government agencies more efficient and effective.

Hillary Clinton supports patent reform, announces technology and innovation initiative

Clinton’s proposal for accomplishing this goal would be twofold: (1) to reduce excessive patent litigation through additional patent reform; and (2) strengthening the operational capacity of the USPTO by allowing the USPTO to keep and spend all the fees it collects. “You are looking at a 14-page detailed document. There is a lot of thought put behind this agenda,” explained Todd Dickinson, former Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office under President Bill Clinton who was reached by telephone for comment. Not surprisingly, Dickinson has has been an advisor to the campaign regarding intellectual property matters. “Other campaigns will be hard pressed to match the depth and thoughtfulness of these proposals.”