Washington DC: Don’t Just Do Something - Stand There
Congress Should Take Notes
Behold but one heinous example. Chattering Class-member The Washington Post on December 17, 2015 extruded Paul Ryan Notches a Big Victory, but the True Test May Come Next Year: “The House is expected to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill Friday that will remove any threat of a government shutdown, keep the government funded into the fall of 2016, and notch a signature win for new House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.)”
This “big victory” blew up the “Sequester” spending caps – the only (tiny) such constraint placed on DC in decades. And it funded President Barack Obama for basically the rest of his administration – which means the illegal unilateral actions in which he has endlessly engaged will be from now on unimpeded by Congress’ power of the purse.
That’s a DC “signature win.” Remember this – and an endless cavalcade of similar “signature wins” – when you next hear how important it is for DC to “get things done.” (Remember it all – when you wonder how Donald Trump is doing what he’s doing.)
It is this Bizarro World fetishist definition of “getting things done” that is set to undermine our patent system – a fundamental, foundational component of our free market economy. How fundamental and foundational? President Abraham Lincoln “called the introduction of patent laws one of the three most important developments ‘in the world’s history,’ along with the discovery of America and the perfection of printing.”
What things patent does DC claim need getting done? Slaying the “patent troll.” But what exactly does that mean? Again, there’s the DC definition – and then the one we hold out here in Reality.
Here’s the Bizarro World definition – courtesy of (accidentally?) anti-patent Lee Cheng: “2015 was a huge year for trolls….(A)t one level are the ‘big game hunters’ that go after large corporations like Microsoft, Apple and Google using patents that are often technically valid….Then there are the ‘ankle biters’ or ‘nuisance’ trolls that file …lawsuits…with patents that are often pathetically weak. ”
Get that? Whatever Cheng may think of them, he begrudgingly admits the patents these people hold – are valid. But they’re “trolls” anyway. Bizarro. And incredibly dangerous.
If you want to undermine valid patents – you want to undermine the entire patent system. That, to me, is fairly patent “troll”-ish. In other words: When You Hear ‘Patent Trolls’ – Think ‘People Protecting Their Private Property’.
But DC, unfortunately, is looking to “get something done.” Behold the Innovation Act – Virginia House Republican Bob Goodlatte’s awful bipartisan effort. About which he anxiously says: “(T)he Congress must act to curb abusive patent litigation.” And the Senate has a just about equally terrible bill: “A bipartisan group of senators introduced the PATENT Act…an important step toward stopping abusive patent litigation.”
As usual, DC is in bipartisan fashion doing the wrong thing – and making matters worse, not better.
Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Please feel free to follow him him on Twitter / Facebook.
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