March 1, 2011
While Americans are focused on a possible government shutdown and heated budget standoffs in the states, the U.S. Senate is considering legislation that isn’t getting much attention, but is even more important because it threatens to destroy one of the greatest aspects of American exceptionalism – innovation.
Did you know that Americans are responsible for roughly 90% of new inventions?
While overregulation and taxation harm America’s ability to compete with other countries to attract and keep businesses that create jobs, our greatest stock in trade is the American spirit that fosters innovation, and the world’s strongest patent system to protect inventors’ rights.
As Phyllis declared in a recent New York Times article, “This bill would be death to innovation in America,” and we must stop it from passing!
S. 23, the so-called “Patent Reform Act of 2011” will destroy our patent system by setting up a system that disadvantages small inventors in favor of large corporations, makes it easier to infringe patents, easier to challenge patent rights in administrative proceedings and in the courts, and makes it more expensive for inventors to defend their patents.
All this is being done in an effort to “harmonize” with the rest of the world. Why on earth would we want to harmonize with countries that don’t protect intellectual property rights? Other countries should be harmonizing with us to improve their systems.
Killing innovation in America would not only kill jobs and economic growth, it would cut off the world’s largest supply of new ideas and inventions. Where would we be without American inventions from light bulbs to dialysis machines? Innovation vastly improves, and can even save our lives. We must fight to protect it!
That’s why Eagle Forum and a long list of conservative leaders and organizations, including former Attorney General Edwin Meese, sent this letter to every Senator and Member of Congress urging them to oppose any so-called reform that would kill innovation.
Eagle Forum has been involved in the fight to protect inventors for many years. This is not an issue that breaks down along traditional conservative/liberal lines. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, with whom we disagree on many issues, is right on this one, and she has sponsored an amendment to S. 23 that would protect our system of awarding patents to the first person to invent something rather than moving to a “first to file” system, awarding a patent to someone who declares that they will invent something in the future. Maintaining the “first to invent” standard will not fix all that is wrong with this bill, but it goes a long way toward protecting inventors, so we encourage Senators to support the Feinstein Amendment.
S. 23 is on the Senate floor this week! Although its consideration will be interrupted by the debate over the Continuing Resolution, it could come up any day this week or next week. Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on S. 23 and YES on the Feinstein Amendment!
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