Patent News

Oct. 22, 2014 Op-Ed: Depriving Property Rights Is Patently Offensive, by James Edwards

This post originally appeared in 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.

Now would be a good time for conservatives to consider the fundamental element of a patent owner being able to exercise intellectual property rights by defending them legally.

Now is a great time to determine whether or not you truly believe in property rights. Do you believe in the market efficiencies that developed early on in the American system of patents? Do you believe in the role of civil justice against property thieves? Do you share the Founders’ vision?