Opinions and Editorials

Apr. 5, 2023

Real Clear Policy: Big Tech Has Eviscerated America’s Patent System by Nick Matich

Google founder Larry Page’s first patent — U.S. Patent Number 6,285,999 — describes the search algorithm that later became one of the most powerful tools in human history. Mr. Page and his colleagues turned that patent, which was licensed from Stanford, into a trillion dollar company — and revolutionized the internet in the process.But now, having reached the commanding heights of the economy, Google and other technology giants — with some help from their allies in Washington — are trying to weaken patent protections and thus prevent a new generation of startups from climbing the ladder.In any industry, a new entrant faces off against established players that possess numerous advantages, including an established customer base, government connections, and lots of cash. Patent laws help even the playing field by allowing smaller companies the exclusive right to their innovations. In fact, Google and all of America’s giant technology companies were once upstarts themselves, during an era that featured strong patent rights.

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