There is much to report today. We will cover it as efficiently as possible.
TV talk show hosts and newscasters often appreciatively refer to their repeat guests as “friends of the show.” As it turns out Bayh-Dole has put on an impressive economic show over recent years. Now there are fresh numbers to prove it. I am sure readers would agree that the 36 yearlong B-D show’s indispensable and longest serving “friend of the show” is Joe Allen. In his IPWatchdog article today (see below), Joe lays out the recent new statistics you and your congressional delegation need to see. B-D was enacted with bi-partisan sponsorship and support. Because its public-private inventor/investor partnership commercialization dynamic is mainstream Republican in nature, its continued bi-partisan support is assured but only if R&D funding continues and otherwise uninvestable but needed basic research can be converted through private investment into jobs and economic development. His excellent article explains why congressional proposals to reduce R&D funding of basic research while weakening patent strength contradict common sense.
Three other notable links also are significant.
The excerpt below draws on a recent Techcrunch article confirming that China’s recent ascendency has made it a patent “powerhouse.”
“China is not only taking the spotlight in strong defense of global markets and free trade, filling a vacuum left by retreating Western capitalist democracies, China is quickly becoming a (if not the) global leader in intellectual property protection and enforcement. And there too, just as Western democracies (especially the United States) have grown increasingly skeptical of the value of intellectual property and have weakened protection and enforcement, China has been steadily advancing its own intellectual property system and the protected assets of its companies and citizens.”
The third significant piece is a recent Reuters article recounting the continuing conflict between SCOTUS and the CAFC which to no one’s surprise is adding increased uncertainty to patents’ predictable reliability. The fourth is another excellent IPWatchdog post that pointedly pins the efficient infringement tail driving all this court and congressional chaos on Apple’s donkey.
The court’s conflict clearly confounds CAFC’s initially established purposes to bring clarification and consistency to patents. The confusion now emanating from the courts is discouraging investment in patent-dependent early stage innovation, especially in much needed life science research and development. The statistics enumerated alone show how today’s SCOTUS/CAFC patent ping pong wrecking ball is creating patent reliability chaos. Seasoned observers are hard pressed to understand how this SCOTUS-driven carnage can be allowed to continue, especially with China’s patent hegemony looming in the near distance. Here are some pertinent excerpts from Reuters’ article Supreme Court and top patent court rarely see eye to eye:
“When the patent court was founded, the judges ‘saw their mission as making patents stronger, and the Supreme Court thought it went too far and started to reel them in,’ said Rochelle Dreyfuss, a professor of law at New York University who has studied the court. ‘Now the question is whether the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.'”
Elsewhere in the piece former after noting that SCOTUS appears to be out of touch with this new reality, Former Chief CAFC Judge Paul Michel noted “the high court’s decisions had created huge uncertainty for companies and investors over patent rights and could affect research and development and innovation.”
The last of our key references todays is back to IPWatchdog where James Skyles’ vivid prose shows Apple’s true patent performance colors. Here is how he closes his description of Apple’s relentless war on its component suppliers – the very same war we readily recognize as the driver of congressional patent reform. Keep in mind that this is the same Apple that Rep. Issa was crying about in a hearing just last week because someone had dared to assert a patent against Apple.
“These companies are examples of potential victims of Apple’s singular focus on profit. However, what’s at stake is much larger than Apple’s bottom line. While Apple is breaking market cap records, it is systematically devaluing innovation and technology. If these bullying tactics are not kept in check, Apple’s own partners will lack the resources needed to invest in new developments and better ideas. Further, the precedent will be established that the largest technology company in the world can take and use intellectual property owned by others, whether legally allowed or not, ultimately stifling innovation and creativity.”
And last here is today’s cherry on top by Joe Allen. If we can get this information through too our delegations, we can turn this terrible situation around.
“What’s even more impressive is the impacts on gross industry output and GDP are up 14% while the number of U.S. jobs supported rose 12% since the previous report issued two years ago. That’s remarkable at a time when the overall U.S. economy has been treading water”
While the attacks on Bayh-Dole (and the patent system) are largely driven by emotion, here’s some additional data BIO cited that’s worth considering: over the past 25 years academic inventions led to the formation of 11,000 startups and the commercialization of more than 10,000 new products.