Why Obama’s patent actions will harm U.S. tech industry

“Yesterday, the Obama administration rolled out a sweeping set of executive actions and legislative recommendations that are supposed to “protect innovators from frivolous litigation” and improve America’s patent system in support of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act the President signed into law in 2011,” Steve Tobak writes for FOX Business. “The White House Fact Sheet also takes aim at so-called patent trolls that drain the economy, ‘leverage and hijack’ people’s ideas, and try to “extort some money out of them,” in the President’s words.”

“If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think that sounds great. And maybe you’d be right. But there’s a very good chance you wouldn’t be,” Tobak writes. “There’s a very good chance that the law of unintended consequences will ultimately prove what I’ve said for years, that legislation and regulation are bad for business. And this is no exception.”

“Steve Jobs very much regretted inviting then Google CEO Eric Schmidt to sit on Apple’s board,” Tobak writes. “Had Jobs known that Schmidt would betray his trust and Google would more or less clone the iPhone, Apple wouldn’t be embroiled in those costly and distracting smartphone patent wars with Google, Motorola, Samsung, and others. And that’s the only thing that could have changed the outcome.”

“The White House task force on high-tech patent issues will not change a thing. One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other. That sort of overstatement, that overreaching rhetoric that the Obama administration uses so consistently, should give you a clue as to the legitimacy of its actions,” Tobak writes. “While I wish it were otherwise, I’m afraid that the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and the President’s actions yesterday are likely to weaken the rights and the leverage of U.S. patent holders, both domestically and overseas. They will probably weaken the ability of small, innovative companies to grow and succeed over the long haul. And I believe they will ultimately harm the competitiveness of our technology industry on a global scale.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.

Related article:
Obama executive orders take aim at patent trolls, encourage high tech patents – June 4, 2013

37 Comments

      1. Fox’s pathetic projection of doubt and “unintended consequences” proves that it IS facile. Had one of its partisan hacks proposed the identical measure, Fox would be singing the praises of this patent reform.

        Patent trolls ARE fundamentally evil. It’s decades overdue that a US president finally took notice.

        1. Define patent troll vs. patent holder.

          If I hold a legitimate patent, I have the right to prevent you from using the information/technology, or you have to pay me for the use. You may think this is just some guy in his basement waiting patiently for years for an Apple to violate his patent, but what if it’s a legitimate patent?

          1. Patent Troll.
            Person or company that searches patent database for patents that are veg and match a product, purchases said patent not to build a product but to wait a couple of years and then litigate for profit against another company that actuality developers independently a similar method and makes a real product.

            Please forgive my run on sentence.

            1. The key differences being:
              Holder: typically filed the patent.
              Troll: typically purchased patent.
              Holder: has a business plan to produce a product, or r&d to show effort to bring a product to market.
              Troll: does not have a product or intention to create one.

              The premise here is that a person who came up with the idea on his own, and can prove it the r&d notes, should not have to pay someone who bought a similar idea and has no intention of using it.

        1. How about this? Fox has carried stories on the Obama using the IRS to destroy political opponents. And Fox has covered Obama secretly gathering data on every single Verizon call made, by US customers. And Fox has done stories on the lie Obama told for 8 weeks prior to the election about a video causing the Libya deaths of our Ambassador and 3 others. Obama could have saved thes people but he went to bed. These are all now established facts Fox reported as also did Internet sites. But I guess you are fine with Big Brother watching and recording every call you make. And the IRS targeting you for your opinions. You, sir, are a useful idiot.

          1. I could go on at some length regarding the misleading half-truths and speculations embedded in your assertions of “fact.” For instance, I am not aware of any evidence that Obama had anything to do with one Midwest branch of the IRS abusing its authority. And the sad fates of the four U.S. embassy personnel could not have been changed by any actions taken afterwards. You are creating information to support your viewpoint.

            You might turn around and call me an Obama lover. You would be wrong. He has disappointed me overall. Obama has also allowed the GOP to shape and control the public perception of many situations that were crafted by the GOP expressly to make Obama look bad.

            The Democrats have been too weak to be effective, even when they wielded greater power. And they have to learn that spending must be controlled, even if it entails some sacrifices.

            I am not a GOP lover, either. The GOP platform’s strong foundation in the Christian religion greatly concerns me. I strongly believe in the separation of church and state. Furthermore, I cannot support any group that blindly ignores (or even publicly disputes) rigorous scientific data with fairy tales and wishful thinking. In addition, the GOP has not honored their commitment to reduced government and controlled spending, and even issued massive tax cuts using borrowed money.

            Both political parties suck. But I side with science, believe in protecting the environment (even if it costs more to do so), and cannot abide the government imposing religion using my tax dollars. I am also high fiscally conservative and believe that a strict rule of law and reliance on personal responsibility is critical to the long term viability of our society.

            No existing political party is very responsive to my viewpoint. We need a new one.

            1. Obama put all the IRS thugs in place who did this. In case you did not know, IRS offices are not independent branches. Obama came from Chicago and employees Chicago thug tactics See the New York Times editorial today. That should satisfy your liberal source requirement. How much tyranny will you stand by and allow before you let facts penetrate your incredibly thick skull.

            2. Obama did not appoint all of the people involved in this. You act as if this sort of thing has never happened before, that things are somehow worse now than they were in some mythical past. You should educate yourself.

              I am very concerned about what happened. You are obtuse to think otherwise. I am not as hysterical as the GOP and Fox News, who wish to pin anything and everything on Obama – blame is the most important thing on their minds, not fixing things, as has been demonstrated since 2009.

              And I don’t give a gnat’s shit what *you* call me or what you choose to believe about my level of intellect. I want to get past the partisan hysteria and paranoia and actually deal with the problem. All the GOP is worried about with every issue – embassy, IRS, etc. – is what Obama knew and when. If only they had applied the same level of scrutiny to Bush and would similarly police their own Congressional members.

              Get over the partisanship.

            3. I seem to recall that this was also don’t the the last Republican administration, and republicans white washed it. Typical.

              Now they complain. Also typical.

            4. Oops, my iPad seems to have “corrected” my typo.

              It should have been :

              I seem to recall that this was also done in the last Republican administration…

            5. No you are 100% wrong. Nothing of the sort happened during the Bush administration. Bush did not say, bring a gun to a knife fight. He did not say after his reelection it was time to punish his enemies, as Obama did. You helped elect a thug, who is now using every bit of government to intimidate anyone who does not do as he says. That is the “Chicago way”. How ignorant are you of what is going on? Oh, and by the way, he did go to bed at 5PM when his people were under attack in Libya and asking for help. He went to bed and no contact with his military, except for his stand down order to not help. He wanted these people to die and yet his loyal supporters don’t give a crap.

          2. Jesus. Right off the bat.

            “Fox has carried stories on the Obama using the IRS to destroy political opponents.”

            Well what’s wrong with that bullshit right up front? The fact that the IRS routinely investigates these non-profit claims, and when a bump in registrations hits the admin, it sets off alarms? The right wing nut bars and Fox News took an unremarkable event and turned it into a conspiracy. as they routinely do, and all the lapdogs lose their shit over a conspiracy that isn’t. So no, referring to Fox for anything other than football scores is fraught with peril, and the useful idiots are those such as yourself predisposed to believe the absolute worst about everything to do with Obama.

  1. This is the part that iHaters and clueless Samsung drones chooses to ignore. This fact alone keeps them looking stupid time and time again. Google is Evil and Schmidt is a POS.

    “Steve Jobs very much regretted inviting then Google CEO Eric Schmidt to sit on Apple’s board,” Tobak writes. “Had Jobs known that Schmidt would betray his trust and Google would more or less clone the iPhone, Apple wouldn’t be embroiled in those costly and distracting smartphone patent wars with Google, Motorola, Samsung, and others. And that’s the only thing that could have changed the outcome.”

    1. While Schmidt being on Apple’s board may have sped up Android copying iOS, I think it would have happened anyway. Google was already developing Android, but as a Blackberry fighter. Once it saw iOS, Google was smart enough to recognize the future and almost overnight change its OS to be a copy of iOS. This was going to happen anyway.

    1. Confusing FOX Business with a handful of opinion shows, not news programs, that are broadcast on FOX News spotlights a tremendous lack of media savvy.

      1. The Fox Out Of Business Channel is just as biased as FauxNewz. If it is Murdoch, it is bullshit. Lowbrow, gaudy, tacky, and tasteless.

        BTW- When will Fox News ever report on how Murdoch bought his US citizenship so he could buy the then Metromedia TV Stations and flip them from (mostly) CBS affiliates to Fox? Hint- he bought consideration via then Speaker Newt with a book deal.

    2. Indeed. For the reality is that there is no person who is “bad” or “good”. Every person takes action that can be RELATIVELY judged “good for me” or “bad for me”, but that’s as far as anyone can really assess anyone else.

      Unfortunately, in the corporatocracy in which the majority of the developed world lives, all that matters is ME ME ME ME ME. Anything that moderates the greed of the powerful is reported to be BAD BAD BAD BAD.

      Doesn’t matter what the recommendation is: if it’s not immediately profitable to the leader of the corporation, he will find a way to convince the world that the proposal is bad. Don’t think that darling Apple, which is no longer a small company fighting above its weight class, is any different. Apple no longer “thinks different”. It might be the best, but the last two years on MDN have been marked by more baseless speculation, more Obama stories, and more legal suit updates than new product introductions from Apple. It was not always this way, friends.

  2. This idiot apparently didn’t read the details. The executive orders are targeting patent troll, companies that buy up old patents and that manufacture nothing. He is right that it would do nothing for the Google/ Apple situation, but how was Steve supposed to know this, remember Googles business was advertising and Apples was computer’s and hand held devices. Who knew that Google would buy Motorola in a desperate attempt to build its patent portfolio and try to use Motorola’s FRAND patents to try and double bill Apple? Who knew that Samsung would just totally rip Apple off on its interface and try to use its FRAND patents as defense. The current patent laws will sort this out the executive orders don’t address these issues because they don’t have to. What they are intended to do is to streamline the process, get more examiners on the ball, and put those thieves in East Texas out of business and get the ITC out of the patent infringement ruling business. Think before you click and disseminate a non story.

  3. Only an idiot with no sense of history, beholden to corporations, still believes that the “free market” can run unregulated and always arrive at a balance that benefits everything and everyone. The fact that corporations have paid off politicians to get the laws changed to suit corporations means that the concept of law and regulation is the problem? Pull the other one…

    1. “Obama=regulation, regulation, regulation. Get the government out of private business”

      Such partisan ignorance is unbelievable.

      Why are there patents and other intellectual property laws to begin with?

      Exactly. They’re government-granted monopolies created by the legislative system, and backed by the justice system.

      Remove government from private business? Say goodbye to intellectual property rights laws. Anything less is hypocrisy–trying to take all the benefits granted by government monopoly, then turn around and claim they have no right to regulate how you use it.

  4. Omg, the whole patent system is “business regulation”. You want less regulation? Abandon the artificial construct known as patents. Oh you want patents and regulation now I hear you say? Well, you’ll have to let the powers fiddle with it then.what a jack ass.

  5. Wow, this has been the lamest, fact-less article i’ve read in a while.

    In reading the actual administration’s proposed patent actions, I see where there a significant addressing towards “trolls” without affecting a true patent holder’s rights and limiting the reach of trolls.

    Whatever this FOX person is trying to do, is clearly biased. That’s FOX News for you.

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