Patent Reform in the USA has drawn the attention of a Chinese expert.
Philip Brooks’ Patent Infringement Updates in the posting China Weighs in on U.S. Patent Reform Bill points out that Yongshun Cheng, current director of the Beijing Intellectual Property Institute and one of the top three IP figures in China, is of the opinion that the proposed US Patent Reform Act of 2007 would make it easier for patents to be infringed.
Take a look at Brooks’ posting as well as the original translated article by Cheng.
People such as myself, who strongly support the US Patent Reform Act of 2007, appreciate Cheng’s concerns and arguments. Any time that you change the laws to restore balance to any system, you are going to get countervailing effects, and some of these may in fact be some of the dangers that Cheng identifies.
Nevertheless, when the law is confronted with a system that is greatly out of balance – then such a system must be tweaked to save the system as a whole, even if the actions to be taken also have some negative implications.
It is imperative – as a matter of the successful rule of law – that laws in force are seen as sensible by the governed so that the governed can give their consent to them and thus give them legitimacy. This is the Jeffersonian doctrine of consent by the governed, which incorporates the idea of limited government. Whenever the government begins to play too large a role in the affairs of business and commerce, you have trouble brewing ahead.
Under current patent law, the government in the United States through the USPTO and the courts has played an increasingly significant role in redistributing wealth in a bizarre fashion to people who have not earned it. The USPTO in granting patents for thousands of obvious inventions – which should in fact have been denied patent protection – and the courts, by enforcing existing patent laws and protecting undeserving patents, have been acting as handmaidens to the virtual extortion of monies by patent holders and patent trolls from legitimate enterprises.
This raises danger signals for democracy.
Obviously, this can not go on, and the Patent Reform Act of 2007 is designed to put a stop to the most obvious flagrant and widespread abuses of patent law – abuses which still daily mark our news headlines.
Read generally Zachary Roth’s The Monopoly Factory