Patent News

Jan. 28, 2015

Washington Examiner: Conservatives slam patent reform as secret Obama gift to Google, by Paul Bedard

This post originally appeared in Washington Examiner on January 28, 2015.

The division within the Republican congressional majority that killed tough anti-abortion legislation and has bottled up immigration reform is now threatening bipartisan “patent reform,” with some conservative critics warning that it amounts to a secret Obama gift to Google.

As Congress moves to pass the comprehensive reform, critics including likely 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell are urging a slow down.

They claim that the rush for broad reform, while geared to limiting lawsuits, threatens inventors. They also charge that companies such as Google, which has hundreds of patents, has cozied up to the Obama administration to win the new reforms that might protect their effort to out-patent competitors like Apple.

The latest criticism came from Blackwell in a letter to 75 conservative leaders.

“[T]he number one corporate cheerleader for patent reform has been Google,” he wrote in the letter provided to Secrets. “Let’s not forget how close the Obama administration is to Google. There has practically been a revolving door between the company and the White House. If you hate crony capitalism, then you should be worried about the administration and Congress acting so aggressively to overhaul the patent system to advance the financial interests of Google and others.”

Proponents want the reforms, claiming that big companies get hit by “patent trolls” that cost millions of dollars to fight. Critics agree that the trolls are a problem, but believe the comprehensive reforms backed by Obama and senior GOP leaders go to far.