Republicans Beware: Rushing to Approve Obama’s Bad Patent Legislation isn’t a Victory

March 18, 2015

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, Friday, April 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Originally published by The Washington Times

Since taking control of both chambers of Congress, Republicans have been expected to trumpet patent reform as an issue with bipartisan support and one we can demonstrate early on in which we are willing to work with President Obama. Republican leaders have talked about moving such legislation early this year. Some have tried to claim that this is good for the economy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Rushing to pass bad legislation just so we can demonstrate a willingness to work with the White House is not the path to take. Despite the support of many Republicans in the previous Congress, this legislation, as it stands, is just another one-size-fits-all, big government overhaul of a sector of the economy that is not broken. The government is here to help? Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

First there was Obamacare, then Dodd-Frank. Every time the politicians in Washington see a problem, instead of coming up with targeted fixes, they want to push through comprehensive reforms that change the parts of the system that are working right along with the parts they think need help — and always make things worse.

Our constitutionally protected patent system (Article 1, Section 8) is critical to promoting innovation and economic growth. Our founders knew that protecting intellectual property was just as important as protecting physical property. Patent protection gives people the incentive to take risks and invest, knowing they will own and profit from their ideas.

There are valid concerns about the patent system, and there are ways to advance specific and targeted reforms to deal with bad actors, frivolous lawsuits, etc. Unfortunately, the current legislative proposals have not done that. They overhaul the entire system. Just like the other big government overhauls in recent years, this would target the whole incentive structure for innovation — with unintended consequences — rather than address specific areas needing reform.

Some conservatives have tried to justify support for these proposals as a form of tort reform. Undermining property rights is not tort reform. Patent litigation is at a five-year low, according to data from Lex Machina, and the rate of patent lawsuits has averaged around 2 percent of all patents for decades. We’re going to undermine our fundamental rights to address a supposed litigation explosion that doesn’t exist and that supposedly advances tort reform. Conservatives should have no part of this.

The No. 1 corporate cheerleader for patent reform has been Google. Let’s not forget how close the Obama administration is to Google. There has been practically a revolving door between the company and the White House. If you hate crony capitalism, then you should be worried about the administration and Congress acting so aggressively to overhaul the patent system to advance the financial interests of Google and others.

Strong patent protections are among the key economic concepts that distinguish us from nations like China, where intellectual property theft is rampant. Why would we support legislation that emulates their model? We should be protecting our inventors from theft and ensuring that American innovation is on the cutting edge, not undermining property rights and surrendering our one key advantage to the Chinese.

A number of leading conservative organizations and legal scholars have expressed grave concerns about the consequences of this legislation. It makes no sense for conservatives to support legislation that stifles innovation, weakens property rights, surrenders our advantage to China and rewards Mr. Obama’s leading corporate supporters.


Join ACU

The ACU Blog

ACU’s Letter Against Re-Authorization of Ex-Im Bank

The American Conservative Union urges Congress to allow the authorization of the Export-Import Bank to expire.

As with many government programs, the Export-Import Bank began

ACU Says NO to “Comprehensive Patent Reform”

As part of ACU’s long-term strategy to stand up against those who seek to take advantage of American Inventors, we

ACU Releases 2014 Annual Ratings of Congress


FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:  Ian Walters (202)347-9388


ACU Releases 2014 Annual Ratings

ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp’s Testimony about the Clean Power Plan

ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp testified before the EPA on its proposed Clean Power Plan.  He spoke about how the proposed

The Road to CPAC

5 Bizarre Ways the Government Uses Your Money

Tax_graphic copy

It’s Tax Day!

Ever wonder what the government does with your money? Don’t worry, they’re spending it just as responsibly as you would… Because everyone

The Weekly Standard: Inside Hillary’s ‘Very Luxurious’ Van: A Bed, TV, and Lots of Leather

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 3.23.48 PM

Originally published by The Weekly Standard


Hillary Clinton has arrived at her first campaign stop, completing the 965 mile

ACUF Chairman Carly Fiorina on Fox News: Hillary Lacks Leadership, Results

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 11.30.33 AM

ACU Foundation Chairman Carly Fiorina appeared on Fox News this morning to discuss Hillary’s candidacy for President.  “(Hillary Clinton) doesnt have a track record of

ACU Chairman Schlapp on Hillary: “We’ve Had Enough”

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 10.45.13 PM


Contact: Ross Hemminger (419) 934-3069

(Washington, DC) Today, American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp released the following statement on the

Founded in 1964, the American Conservative Union (ACU) is the oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization in the nation. For more than forty years, ACU has served as an umbrella organization harnessing the collective strength of conservative organizations fighting for Americans who are concerned with liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values, and strong national defense. As America's premier conservative voice, ACU is the leading entity in providing conservative positions on issues to Congress, the Executive Branch, State Legislatures, the media, political candidates, and the public. Read More

1331 H St NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Ph: (202) 347-9388 | Fx: (202) 347-9389

Contact Us
Privacy Policy

ACU. All Rights Reserved.