Patent News

Oct. 22, 2014

Human Events Op-Ed: Depriving Property Rights Patently Offensive, by James Edwards

This op-ed originally appeared in Human Events on October 22, 2014.

If untold millions of Americans over two centuries had benefited from a highly successful generator of innovation, would you think it wise to dismantle critical pieces of that engine of creativity and wealth creation?

Yet, that’s what some otherwise conservative people aim to do.

But for conservatives to be true to themselves and to conservative principles, they should carefully think about what we ought to conserve.

“Conventional wisdom” around patent issues has reached the realm of myth. Advocates of sweeping patent legislation claim there’s a litigation explosion in patent cases, that “patent trolls” are driving up litigation rates, and this litigation costs the economy billions of dollars. They claim we need patent “tort reform.”

That’s not the real picture, nor is it in keeping with the Founders’ (wildly successful) vision in setting up patent rights as a property right in the first place.