Opinions and Editorials

Mar. 21, 2018

IPWatchdog: How Google and Big Tech Killed the U.S. Patent System by Michael Shore

This is the story about patents, but more importantly, it’s a story about how the United States has become a modern day version of the Banana Republic.  The term “Banana Republic” was coined by American author O. Henry in 1904 in reference to Honduras which came under extraordinary influence by multinational American fruit corporations.

Banana Republics are societies characterized by their starkly stratified social classes and a ruling-class plutocracy composed of the business, political and military elites.  The Elites rule over a servile government that abets and supports, for kickbacks and bribes, the exploitation of the rest of society. Instead of Dole and United Fruit controlling Honduras, we now have Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and other tech giants controlling Congress and the Executive Branch through unlimited lobbying by groups like the Internet Association[1], High Tech Inventors Alliance[2], the Software Alliance[3], Unified Patents[4] and through direct political donations.  As demonstrated below, the only difference between Honduras in 1904 and the United States today is that the new bananas are smartphones and the software they contain.