Patent News

Apr. 27, 2015

The Weekly Standard: Trolling for Trolls and securing crony capitalism’s future, by David Oppenheimer and K.E. Grubbs Jr.

This post originally appeared in The Weekly Standard on April 27, 2015.

With congressional Republicans back from their spring recess, presumably revived and resolved to keep our country competitive, there is one more thing they should do to gird up for the resumption of legislative business.

They should take a contemplative stroll down the National Mall.

Only steps away from their offices, they can escape into the National Gallery of Art, there to absorb how individual creative artists—those harbingers of intellectual property rights—have gone about building a humane civilization from antiquity to the present.

In addition, members most definitely should spend thoughtful moments in the Smithsonian’s popular Air and Space Museum, to impress on their minds the common denominator of all American innovation, the envy of the world: our patent system. There would be no such Space Age exhibits without patents.

Finishing their power walk on the Mall, they could take a lingering look at the museum of African-American history under construction, where surely will be celebrated minority inventors, whose everyday products, from peanut butter to beauty treatments, were empowered by—why, yes—our patent system.

That precious system is once again under attack. For years, decades even, mega- and multinational corporations, nothing if not anticompetitive, have sought “reforms” that would yield to them the fruits of small inventors’ work. Their image-makers create monsters to slay. One session, years ago, it was holders of “submarine patents.” This time it’s “patent trolls.”