Sources on Capitol Hill have told Big Government that the House Leadership is pushing for a fast-track vote on radical Patent Reform legislation and the bill could come to the floor as early as this Wednesday. The bill is an affront to conservative values and principles and the Speaker must derail this freight train.
Patent Reform is a long time dream of lobbyists for multinational corporations and Fortune 100 companies looking to get out of the burden of paying inventors for this innovative discoveries. To achieve this goal, the bill will change 250 years of American patent law by turning our constitutional system of “first to invent” into the European version of “first to file.” Under a “first to file” system, lawyers win. Under the American system, inventors and innovators win.
Conservatives have pushed back against this scheme. Phyllis Schafly and Ed Meese are leading the charge on the constitutional principles and last week the Supreme Court signaled their objections are valid. Writing for the Supreme Court in Stanford v. Roche, a patent infringement case Chief Justice John Roberts held that “[s]ince 1790, the patent law has operated on the premise that rights in an invention belong to the inventor.”
In addition to the push to “harmonize” our system with Europe (what’s next the metric system?), the bill contains a special interest handout available only to big banks and Wall Street firms. Section 18 of H.R. 1249 is another billion-dollar bailout for the biggest banks in the nation. Attacking the provision as “special interest legislation, pure and simple,” legal scholar Jonathan Massey argues that it would “shift the cost of patent infringement from financial services firms to the U.S. Treasury,” requiring the public to once again pick up the tab for the banks’ wrongdoing.
Finally, the legislation moves the Patent and Trademark office out of the discretionary spending column into the mandatory spending column. Rep. Paul Ryan has attacked this as a fiscally irresponsible move that will hurt efforts to get government spending out of control.
There is not much conservative about this bill. It’s being pushed by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith who proudly proclaims the bill support from the big hitters of the PAC community – PHRMA, the American bankers Association and the Financial Services Roundtable.
It’s time the Republican Leadership stand up with Main Street against K Street. The battle lines are drawn. The fight begins today. Mr. Speaker, stop this bill.