Forbes Op-Ed: Real Patent Reform Should Strengthen Property Rights, Not Weaken Them, by Carly Fiorina
This post originally appeared in Forbes on November 11, 2014.
Ms. Fiorina is the former chairman of Hewlett Packard and serves as Chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation.
Our economy operates according to one seemingly immutable law: If you innovate, you will win. Companies that constantly invent new products and expand the boundaries of how we live and do business reap rewards in the free market. And in the course of doing so, these companies benefit the nation as a whole by enriching our daily lives and creating new jobs that never would have existed otherwise. America’s rise from colonial backwater to global superpower was in large part driven by this cycle of innovation, market success, and broad-based economic growth.
The new Republican majority in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives has a genuine opportunity to both build upon those hard-fought gains and exhibit much needed leadership. As they craft an agenda that will undoubtedly focus on continued growth and prosperity, they should reflect on what makes our economy strong—innovation, entrepreneurs and hard work—and what hasn’t worked—big government intervention, policy guided by special interests and legislation that hampers innovation.
But while innovation has always been a core element of America’s identity, it would be a mistake to assume that it always will be. Ronald Reagan was right when he said that “freedom is fragile and is never more than one generation away from extinction.” The main difference between our free economy, which rewards merit, and the crony economies of nations like China and Russia is our legal and patent systems.