Policy experts and tech leaders including conservative venture capitalist Peter Thiel are urging the incoming GOP House to investigate China’s exploitation of the U.S. intellectual property system, as well as ties between Big Tech companies and the communist country.
In a recent speech at the Reagan Library, Thiel called on the incoming GOP House Majority to get tougher on China, stating “There’s sort of no simply neutral way to work with China in any way.”
In particular, he called out the role of Big Tech in China:
“with . . . some of the Dynamics in the tech industry where you have . . . Apple computer has this strange dependency on Chinese labor to build the iPhones . . .would violate every labor law standard in the U.S and so the biggest company in the US that makes up something like six and a half seven percent of the S&P 500 is somehow incredibly deeply entangled on an economic level with China.”
Thiel also noted that our “data gets shared in all sorts of different ways” with China, citing concerns about TikTok’s ties to the CCP. Thiel famously called Google’s relationship with China “seemingly treasonous” at the 2019 National Conservatism Conference
While Thiel has largely been an anti-establishment, the bulk of the majority of the GOP Leadership shares this view rhetorically. Prior to the election McCarthy’s blueprint called to “End Dependence on China” and “Confront Big Tech.” Candeub was encouraged with McCarthy’s claim that “China is the No. 1 country when it comes to intellectual property theft.” Indeed, China has exploited the U.S.’s IP system, stealing an estimated $600 billion in intellectual property each year.
Many leading conservative anti-Big Tech scholars have argued that cracking down on Big Tech and China requires a tough approach on intellectual property.
Adam Candeub, a law professor at Michigan State who headed the National Telecommunications and Information Agency during the Trump Administration, said a strong IP framework was necessary to combat both China and Big Tech.
“Both Silicon Valley Democrats have both traditionally supported weaker patent protections, however, it’s not as visible of an issue as antitrust or Section 230.” He cautioned that “given the overwhelming anti-Big Tech sentiment amongst the Republican base, undermining IP could be the one favor that establishment Republicans could deliver to companies like Google and Apple.”
Candeub points to “bipartisan” attempts to undo Patent reforms made by the Trump administration by giving more power to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
“PTAB was a product of Big Tech lobbying, and has remained Silicon Valley’s preferred tool to evade responsibility for patent infringement.”
Adam Mossoff, a law professor at George Mason University’s Scalia School of Law and a visiting intellectual property fellow at the Heritage Foundation agreed, telling Breitbart News that Big Tech companies have spend “hundreds of millions of dollars” in lobbying money supporting PTAB.
“The PTAB has canceled tens of thousands of patent claims through willy-nilly decisions many Americans have come to expect from many of the alphabet-soup regulatory agencies,” said Mossoff, author of a recent paper for the Heritage Foundation explaining how the administrative state has choked off innovation.
“Given the weakened U.S. patent system in which it’s become almost impossible to license or enforce a patent, Big Tech engages in a well-known practice of predatory infringement—stealing inventions because it’s now cheaper than rightfully paying to use other people’s property,” said Mossoff.
Mossoff said that the weakened state of U.S. intellectual property makes China’s job easier.
“Through its explicit domestic industrial policies, China is stealing technologies from U.S. innovators and providing stable and reliable patent protections to its own innovators,” said Mossoff.
“China seeks to dominate next-generation technologies in AI, the Internet of Things, and mobile telecommunications, such 6G. Weakened patent rights in the U.S make it easier to steal U.S. technologies, such as patents on 5G.”
Mossoff urged the House GOP to “reestablish the reliable and effective patent rights that have been a key driver of the U.S. innovation economy from the Founding Era to today,” and to “call the FTC to account for its continued attacks on American innovators in both the biomedical and high-tech sectors, holding hearings and subpoenaing records of its decision-making processes.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.