US intellectual property protection sorely lacking

We’re No. 12! We’re No. 12! That is not the chant that a proud American might have been cheering at the Olympic Village in Pyeongchang.

President Trump isn’t likely to break out this little tidbit of information in his Twitter feed, even though he could justifiably blame it on previous administrations. But, according to a Chamber of Commerce report, that is where the U.S. is now ranked when it comes to protecting intellectual property.

The poor ranking makes sense though. In recent years, Congress, the Supreme Court and the Obama administration have not done much to protect intellectual property, and in more than one way, did things that weakened intellectual property protections.

The report states that the United States’ current “overly cautious and restrictive approach” to patent eligibility “seriously undermines the longstanding world-class innovation environment in the U.S.” and threatens our ability to stay ahead of global competitors. It also states that uncertainty creates a “challenging environment” for innovators.

While the United States continues to drop in the rankings, China slightly improved their position on the scale. The report states that while innovators in China “continue to face significant market access barriers,” the country adopted some proposals that strengthened its system for some industries.

The Global Innovation Policy Center report is just one of several warning signs. The U.S. also dropped out of the top 10 in the Bloomberg Innovation Index this year for the first time in the six years Bloomberg has compiled the report.

A recent analysis by the Regulatory Transparency Project of the Federalist Society found that during the Obama administration, the United States Patent and Trademark Office deterred U.S. innovation through regulatory overreach.

The analysis found that the America Invents Act, passed in 2011, implemented — among other changes —  a new administrative tribunal, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, for declaring patents invalid if they were issued erroneously or issued for a defective invention.

Read more of this The Hill op-ed by Charles Sauer by clicking here.

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