Patents – Some Stories Make You Want to Puke
CNBC is reporting that Chinese espionage of America economic secrets is on the rise in an article entitled “Chinese Espionage on the Rise in US, Experts Warn.” According to the article:
‘The Chinese are afraid that they’re going to get stuck in a technology trap,’ said Adam Segal, a China Expert and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘The Chinese feel that they have to rely on the West — and Japan — for critical technologies.’
Why does this make me puke? Because we are giving away our most important technological secrets by publishing our patent applications (inventions. This practice started in 2001. To add insult to injury, a bipartisan group of Congressmen passed the America Invents Act, which further weakens the property rights of our inventors by shifting us to a first to file system from a first to invent system, which had been the practice in the US since 1789. (For more information on how the AIA disadvantages American inventors in the United States see How the American Invent Act Changes Patent Law, by David Boundy) Why should the Chinese worry about stealing technology from the United States when our government forces our inventors to give it away?
If the United State government was serious about protecting the technology of American business, they would not publish patent applications, they would have fully funded the Patent Office, and they would have demanded reciprocal patent rights (reciprocity) like we have with copyrights. Here is how explained reciprocity for patent in my post Real Patent Reform.
If you drive your car across the border into Canada you do not lose title to your car. If you take your manuscript across the border into Canada you do not lose the copyright to your manuscript. But, if you take your invention across the border into Canada, you lose your patent protection and anyone can steal the invention – not the physical embodiment, but the underlying invention.
Patent reciprocity would automatically provide patent rights in a foreign country when you obtained a patent in the US and vice versa. This idea was first proposed by the US in the mid 1800s according to B. Zorina Kahn’s book “The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development, 1790-1920“. Unfortunately, the idea died and since then patent rights have been part of the convoluted process of trade negotiations.
Patent reciprocity would significantly increase the value of patents and increase the value of research and development. As a result, it would spur investment in innovation. Reciprocity would increase the valuation of technology start-up companies in all countries that participated. It would also increase per capita income.
Our government is not interested in protecting the rights and economic future of Americans and this article by CNBC is a joke.
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