Patent News

Dec. 8, 2014

Washington Examiner Opinion: Resist the urge to just ‘do something’ about patent reform, by Colin Hanna

This post originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on December 8, 2014.

The new Republican Senate majority will soon be put to a test that is empty-headed and almost entirely the product of the mainstream media and its subsidiary, the polling industry: Can it “get things done?”

But there are some “things” that shouldn’t be done, even if they can be. One effort to garner bipartisan support that might soon make its way to the Senate floor is so-called patent reform.

As print, broadcast and Internet journalism continue their declines into little more than a source of simplistic sound bites and catch phrases, the public interest is being robbed of its most effective defender. Patent reform is complex, murky and legalistic. Average citizens cannot necessarily grasp its nuances easily.

“Harmonizing” the United States’ system of intellectual property protection with the standards of the rest of the world sounds perfectly reasonable. But what the proponents fail to mention, and the media fails to report is that harmonizing our patent system with that of other nations really means weakening our protections for inventors to a level compatible with countries that have inferior patent protections.