The Story Of Patent Reform: How Lobbyists & Congress Works... And How The Public & Innovation Get Screwed

from the sad dept

We've noted how there's suddenly been a lot of mainstream interest in the massive problems of the patent system, thanks in part to mainstream media operations like This American Life doing stories that expose just how damaging the patent system is today. And yet, despite all of this, we've been pointing out for a while that the patent reform bill making its way through Congress is useless. It does nothing to address the problems of the system and has a few things that will make matters worse. And it bizarrely includes clear favors to Wall St., protecting them from a few bad patents, while leaving everyone else -- including Silicon Valley -- to fend for themselves.

So why isn't Congress actually fixing the patent system?

Zach Carter over at the Huffington Post has an absolutely fantastic detailed look at the politics and corruption behind the patent reform bill. It's long, but worth reading. However, the tl;dr version is: patent reform is entirely about lobbyists and special interests. No one -- and I do mean no one -- appears to have any concern whatsoever for the actual impact of the patent system or patent reform on actual innovation. The story is about as depressing as you would imagine, but is a great primer on the nature of regulatory capture and how certain industries influence regulations, while the actual public and the people most impacted by the legislation is left out. Here's just a snippet:
DataTreasury's lawsuits are handled by Texas trial-law kingpins Nix, Patterson & Roach. In the 2010 elections, the firm was the third-largest contributor to the Democratic National Committee, pouring in $179,000, behind only Google and the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. When Republican lawmakers bemoan "Democrats and trial lawyers," they're talking about Nix Patterson and a handful of other big law firms.

Nix Patterson brought in an even bigger fundraising champion to lobby Democrats for DataTreasury: Ben Barnes. He and his wife Melanie have dumped $379,000 of their own money into politics over the years, according to Center for Responsive Politics data, with every penny going to Democrats. Barnes is also one of the most influential fundraising bundlers in politics. In the first half of 2009 alone, he pulled together $630,450 for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee -- more than anyone else, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

Barnes is not a man congressional Democrats keep waiting. And he's previously worked directly with Pelosi, who attended a fundraiser at Barnes' Austin home in 2009. Pelosi's office did not respond to inquiries on her meetings with the fundraising giant, but when asked by HuffPost whether he had won over Pelosi on Section 18, Barnes said that he had.

"Oh, yeah," Barnes told HuffPost. "For some time I've worked with DataTreasury that has the patent all the banks are worked up about."

By revolting on the patent bill, Pelosi was throwing in her lot with Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who circulated a letter on June 15 urging their colleagues to oppose Section 18, saying the language "carves out a special niche" for Wall Street that would "stifle innovation."

This odd bipartisan coalition was going up against the entire New York delegation, led by Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), chairman of the corporate-friendly New Democrat caucus, who declined to comment for this story. As the behind-the-scenes struggle intensified, DataTreasury promoted the idea that Section 18 was a covert bailout for the banks. If courts ruled that the new law amounted to an unconstitutional taking of property -- a very big 'if' -- then taxpayers would ultimately have to pay back the bank winnings resulting from the bill.
Nobody comes out of this story looking good. Everyone comes out of it looking corrupt. And all of us suffer. Though a few lawyers are making out like bandits.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    DannyB (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    They'll figure it out

    Once innovation leaves the US and thrives somewhere else.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Umm, this would be the same Zach Carter who wrote for Alternet, all those anti-big-media pieces?

    Yup got it.

     

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  3.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re:

    The hell does that have to do with anything?

     

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  4.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Yet we re-elect 95% of these clowns back into office. The corporation's cronies are in full force at their bidding giving a bipartisan screwing of the public.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    The tl;dr version is too long Mike. Let's just shorten it to:

    Intergalactic DUH!!!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    It's more economic to just call him a Communist. Same (retarded) effect, without the verbosity.

     

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  7.  
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    Justin (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    I think that I am going to get my 'I told you so' ready for all the people and companies that support more patents once they start getting sued for patent infringement because the system they pushed for is flooded with sketchy patents

     

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  8.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re:

    Do you have any better options? Wyden seems to be one drop of sanity (and maybe honesty) in the barren lands of the US politics. And with this damned bipartisanship system tat rules new entrants I'd say the Americans are pretty much screwed unless they go Arab/Spanish/[insert public manifestations here] style.

    Sometimes I pity them.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re:

    You spelled freetarded wrong.

     

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  10.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re:

    Or when innovation completely leaves the US. The US are but one country, there's the rest of the world. The US can rest in the pieces of their own incompetence and corruption.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re:

    Just the usual stuff. Quoting it off the Huffington Post gives it a whiff of crediblity, but since this guy is anti-media, anti-government, and appears to have an axe to grind, I don't give it much crediblity.

    As always, if you start with your conclusion, you can almost always write your way back to the intro and make it look credible. But the piece is pretty one sided, don't you think?

     

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  12.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    Umm, this would be the same Zach Carter who wrote for Alternet, all those anti-big-media pieces?

    Yup got it.


    Would you be the same Anonymous Coward who wrote all those corporate shill. comments?

    Yup got it

     

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  13.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As always, if you start with your conclusion, you can almost always write your way back to the intro and make it look credible. But the piece is pretty one sided, don't you think?

    It would be foolish to assume that everyone else uses your methods.

     

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  14.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So basically, you're dismissing someone's argument because, you are against their political spin?

    Sorry, I'm not following your argument. If he's anti-big-media as you entail, why post about the political coalition of both Democrats and Republicans that makes this regulatory capture possible?

    If he's anti-government, why criticize the fact that our government is indeed flawed where they "work together" (as the Democratic byline seems to be right now) with all parties to pass laws?

    And if he has an axe to grind, why grind it by showing the flaws of the patent system that a number of people that aren't supposedly "anti-media", "anti-government", (such as Google) instead of going true rebel and asking the populace to rise up?

     

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  15.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    If you ever look into gerrymandering, and the fact that votes are rigged, you would see a number of Repubocrats reelected through biased means.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    There's enough money floating around to corrupt literally everyone, and HAS. They also of course thrive on bureaucracy and special exceptions so the problem is utterly intractable. -- That's why my solutions don't bother with "reform" or half measures. We need to clean out the whole Establishment and the cushy nest that the parasites have made there: make Washington DC a national park and decree another place for the central gov't (by having some child toss a dart at a scrambled map! idea from Michael Feldman of NPR's What Do You Know show), and make it ONLY for gov't employees or "natural" persons not representing corporations. Let the people in Congress live in barracks like the military, make it a burden and not a privilege to be in Congress. And keep moving DC every twenty years so that the parasites don't fully entrench. -- Nutty? That's they said about George Washington! You can't reform within a system, just never happens; tyrants are not reasonable.

     

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  17.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re:

    No, I will NOT use Windows XP ever again! I'll turn into a full fledged pirate before I go with that shady piece of software!

     

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  18.  
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    shawnhcorey (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    More Than IP Reform

    More than the IP laws need reformation. The whole concept of a corporation needs reform. A corporation is a thing, not a person. It should not be able to participate the the political process. No contributions to candidates, no hiring of lobbyists. If a corporation needs political representation, its shareholders can do that themselves.

    Oh, did I mentioned that no corporation should be able to own another, either directly through stock or indirectly through some financial instrument like derivatives. Only people can own a corporation, who can do their own political campaigning, personally.

     

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  19.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    Why is it that you can post the most idiotic things when it comes to copyrights and patents and then go and post this most beautiful of all posts?

     

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  20.  
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    Hulser (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As always, if you start with your conclusion, you can almost always write your way back to the intro and make it look credible. But the piece is pretty one sided, don't you think?

    Welcome to the Internet age. The press was always biased; it's just now we know about it. Rather than trying to hide behind the paper shield of "objectivity", the new forms of journalism are up front about their opinions. The problem of course is that you have to actually think for yourself instead of lapping up what The Media regurgitates at you. And in case the point is not clear, just because someone is expressing an opinion, it doesn't mean their facts are incorrect. If you have a problem with the facts, then attack the facts.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    Maybe you can explain it then. It sounds like he's saying we need to fix DC's geographic location to fix the problems inherent in the system but that really does not make any sense at all. I mean I like the bits that do make sense, "make it ONLY for gov't employees or "natural" persons not representing corporations" and "make it a burden and not a privilege to be in Congress," but moving it around to different places? What's that going to do other than be a huge added expense for the taxpayers and government employees that aren't elected? What persistent issue would changing the geographic location actually solve?

     

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  22.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    That's our ootb - you never quite know what he's going to say!

    Overall he's definitely an asset to the site.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah! It's not like he has facts and quotes and information and research to back up his claims! He just pulled them out of thin air to grind his imaginary axe!

    Why would he do such a thing? To make it easier for you to hand-wave his claims away because you are incapable of making real arguments, of course. He feels bad for you, so he gave you an easy ad hominem to spout.

     

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  24.  
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    Steven (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: More Than IP Reform

    You can put all the restrictions around getting money to congress that you want, but like water flowing through a sponge it will find it's way there. The government simply has too much power such that it is still worth pushing millions (billions?) of dollars there.

    These contribution laws are like the contraband screening of a prison, except these are designed by the prisoners.

     

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  25.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    I think it is all about the disruption to the process that DC has become. You make it so disruptive and so unpleasant that only those who actually care about the state of the nation would be willing to put up with it.

     

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  26.  
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    shawnhcorey (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: More Than IP Reform

    So we should just give up without a fight? Besides, I not restricting all big money contributions, just some of it. For example, Microsoft should not be able to make contributions but Bill Gates can. Only people should be participating in politics.

     

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  27.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "make it look credible"? lol just check.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Jay, to get to his conclusion, you first have to assume that there is nothing good about patents. Now, I know that is a popular version of the truth around here, but one that has never been proven (because nobody can show us a planet where we work without patents, so we don't know what it would be like without the system).

    Second, Mike qualifies it as a good example of showing "regulatory capture". It's a bullshit claim, because almost any regulated industry by nature has it's representatives, lobbyists, and the like. That isn't anything like regulatory capture. It's the way a democratic system works. The companies and industries don't get to vote in the elections, do they?

    There is no grand coalition here, only both sides understanding what needs to be done and moving forward with something that is obvious enough to all concerned.

    He attempts to paint the politicians as beholden to the special interest groups, but in reality they are just clearly understanding the needs of industry. Trying to imply that everything is done because one guy worked on Pelosi's fund raising is crap, because Pelosi doesn't have that much power anymore anyway. He is attempting to raise the stink level where no stink exists.

    He started with the conclusion, that much is clear. It's probably why it plays so well on Techdirt, because he is giving you guys the answer you want to hear, not the actual truth.

    Oh for the anonymous below: You can use "facts" in many ways, and cherry picking details and only playing one part of a story can make everything you say true, but still not tell the truth. Just because he uses "facts" in his story doesn't mean he actually told you what happened, he just picked some dots and connected them to match the conclusion desired.

     

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  29.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: More Than IP Reform

    People should only get their one vote. If they want more they should have to convince the other voters not the politicians directly.

     

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  30.  
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    rubberpants, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    News at 11: Lobbyist disagrees with story that illustrates how bad lobbyists are.

     

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  31.  
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    rubberpants, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    News at 11: Lobbyist disagrees with story that illustrates how bad lobbyists are.

     

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  32.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    has never been proven (because nobody can show us a planet where we work without patents, so we don't know what it would be like without the system

    There was once such a planet - it was called World War 2. At least in the UK nobody bothered too much with patents when we were fighting for our lives.

    Result

    Jet Engine
    Computer
    Nuclear Technology

    and many more - in short the biggest burst of innovation ever to hit the planet.

    There are other example - eg the Italian Pharma Industry before 1979 or the comparison between aircraft development in the US and Europe during the period 1908-1917. They all show fewer patents=more innovation. So your calim there is no evidence is simply wrong. There is plenty and it backs our case.

    If you don't believe us then why not suggest we do an experiment - create a patent free zone and see what happens. What are you scared of?

     

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  33.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    I hope more people get involved in the political process

    The article is a great look at how competing special interests influence Washington priorities. I've said before on Techdirt that complaining about IP isn't going to get you very far. It's not a hot button list for voters. So if you want laws changed you either need to turn it into a hot button (which means pushing it ahead of all the other things voters care about) or you need to change the lobbying process and campaign funding.

    I hope articles like this bring more members of Gen X and Gen Y in political activism. If you want to have as much influence as the Tea Partiers, you are going to have to get organized in a significant way. Talking music piracy isn't going to do it. Campaigning on lower drug costs, DNA ownership, and GMO issues in food are better issues to energize voters (not that the voters themselves will be able to do much alone; corporate money is what still matters most). Form your own lobbying organization and start paying politicians yourselves to back the laws you want.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    The person who wrote the article is clearly a nazi and a fascist as well as displaying common signs of being a pedophile and a terrorist. A terror-nazi if you will.

    Of course it is mike's job to put his full support against someone who is so hell-bent on destroying freedom and children, why should I have to read fifteen paragraphs of pedophillic nazi tripe when I can just call mike filthy names in the comment section instead?

    -Every AC post ever

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re:

    "Umm, this would be the same Zach Carter who wrote for Alternet, all those anti-big-media pieces?"

    I suspect this quote is from an Anonymous Coward who is a part of Big IP Business.

     

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  36.  
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    Paul (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't forget the Fashion Industry in the U.S. Without patents and without copyright we can all go into the store and find the new fashions which are developed, marketed, and sold year after year after year after year.

    All without any patent or copyright protection.

    One might also point out that this planet had no copyright or patents until the last few hundred years. The Bible, Greek tragedies, Shakespeare, the Koran, King Author, Most of Newton's work, Galliao's work... all done without patents or copyrights.

    We have no reason to believe patents would have helped the development of technology at all in the past, and no reason to believe it helps today.

    Can you even name one product that came to market *because* of a patent? One inventor that was able to produce a product because of patents that could not have without them? Just one?

     

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  37.  
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    Paul (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry, questions are addressed to the previous AC commenter, not you Richard. Sorry about that.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    maybe the best thing that would happen would be to see both dems and reps lose out to new political parties or indies who say that:
    1.we wont take money lobbying
    2.we are for the people and willnot take corp money
    3.we will limit all donation to ?? $1000

    otherwise we all will vote for the same two asshole parties and the cycle of broken washington and broken patents continues

     

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  39.  
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    Charles Meyer (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    New Idea

    Anyone want to join the SRUPBRTWR? The Society to Replace Unethical Politicians by Replacing Them With Robots? Robots couldn't do a worse job than the idiots in the capitol are...With the obvious exception of people like Bernie Sanders and others that Mike has praised, I can't find any reason that robots would be worse for American than those currently in power...

     

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  40.  
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    Nicedoggy, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: More Than IP Reform

    That is why I support the people getting organized for a change and not writing anymore to their representatives.

    If people need to write something, write laws that they want enacted and vote on the people who will enact those laws for them.

    We the people would gain much more respect if we started to do that instead of writing complaints to people who probably don't even bother to read those.

     

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  41.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re:

    Speaking of "other" political parties: This new so-called "Super Congress" pulls members of Republicans and Democrats to fill its seats. What happens if one (or, hopefully both!) of those parties aren't a major player in congress?

    It's like the lawmakers have forgotten that we don't have to be a two party government.

     

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  42.  
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    Nicedoggy, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re: I hope more people get involved in the political process

    Want to see politicians changes the rules quickly, lets write some laws ourselves and put people who will enact those laws in congress then you will see a lot of people trying to change the system, because the people can't have any real power can they?

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Don't write to your representatives, write new laws and send it to those who will vote for them and if needed put them in congress so they can do it.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 3:05pm

    If people write their own laws this takes care of lobbying since the lobby will need to happen on a larger scale.

    People let those clowns hijack the system and people may not realize that they too can write laws and they have the power to put people there to enact those laws and it doesn't matter who they put there as long as that person gets a support group that can assist him/her on doing the job, it also can solve the problem of root rot by not letting any one person stay in congress more then one cycle.

    How are lobbyists going to lobby the entire population for little special interests? Will they feel comfortable approaching a new representative that they never dealt with before and bribing him or offering things without knowing if he will tell everybody or not?

    You the people got the power, you got the means to organize, now people just need to have the will to act to accomplish change, real change, not the empty promises of politicians.

    Don't let them write the law for you, go there and write your own laws and put to a public vote to gather people around.

    Those that have enough votes can be enacted those that don't will never get enough people to put somebody there to be voted on.

    Politicians are supposed to be the people's socket puppets, not the corporations, not the little special interests, but the whole of society.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    popular version of the truth

    Truth is truth, regardless of its popularity

     

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  46.  
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    JMT (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Jay, to get to his conclusion, you first have to assume that there is nothing good about patents."

    You don't have to assume anything, you can look at the massive amount of evidence and decide that there's very little good about the current state of the patent system and quite possibly patents in general.

     

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    Fred Baum, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 4:54pm

    Patent Reform

    The article is right on . When our law makers congress and senators make laws they should try to make laws that are constitutional . We all know very well section 18 is unconstitutional . We all know that Chuck Schumer got paid to inset it , yet our politicians are all a gang of thieves and should be prosecuted as their children will be when our children our making toys for the Chinese . One of the only remaing industries if not the last has been sold down the river as every industry in the USA . We will see a depression soon. I remember when they sold out the Textile Industry starting with NAFTA then the Chinese etc , we are going to be a technological country . Guess what we are going to have an empty bag after they sell out the Intelecctual property component in this country . Besides section 18 first to file which has been ruled on as unconstitutional recently is the body of the bill . ALL YOU POLITICIANS that are voting this bill in deserve to be executed as that is what you have done to this country . The word is greedy stupid assholes ,

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    Nobody's safe from this...

    I suppose this is why Larry Lessig's interest now includes "reducing corruption".


    I'll note that this article and the Richard Hofstadter quote brings to mind this quote:

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." --Gideon J. Tucker in Final Accounting in the Estate of A. B. (1866)

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    Just never feed him after midnight...

     

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  50.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Jay, to get to his conclusion, you first have to assume that there is nothing good about patents."

    Ok... So what good has come out of patents? How much has patent law innovated when you have companies such as Intellectual Ventures using it to control the market, and make smaller businesses pay them? How is the free market really free when Microsoft lost against i4i and has to pay them for a very vague patent that they supposedly infringed upon? Where is your proof that the patent system has done *any* good for business in general?

    " I know that is a popular version of the truth around here, but one that has never been proven (because nobody can show us a planet where we work without patents, so we don't know what it would be like without the system)."

    Socratically (Yay, new word!) speaking, your argument seems to be deep in sophistry. There's been times that countries have gone without patent law and it's been proven that they innovated quite well. We also have individuals such as Michael Meurer and James Bessen who say patents discourage innovation.

    Economically, the settlements on these patents deter innovation in those fields. The evidence that patents are good is overwhelmingly against that notion. So again, where's the good?

    " Mike qualifies it as a good example of showing "regulatory capture". It's a bullshit claim, because almost any regulated industry by nature has it's representatives, lobbyists, and the like. That isn't anything like regulatory capture. It's the way a democratic system works. The companies and industries don't get to vote in the elections, do they?"

    AT&T has regulatory capture on the broadband market through duopoly with Comcast. The better option is competition. The democratic system does NOT work through regulatory capture. It comes with giving consumers a choice between your network/product/entertainment choices versus someone else. If they choose yours, keep doing what you're doing. If someone else's, improve your offering. Regulatory capture is anathema to progress. That is basic knowledge at this point.

    Also, to refute your last point, AT&T is the largest provider of funds, to Democrats and Republicans to get legislation favorable to their duopoly, in the US. How the system works, they can donate a lot more than an individual and if it's true that Senators spend $3900 a day (Maplight.org) then they would be happy to get AT&T's $5000 contributions along with "donated" computers and equipment to staff.

    "He attempts to paint the politicians as beholden to the special interest groups, but in reality they are just clearly understanding the needs of industry. "

    False. The needs of the small business owners is a less cluttered system where they can thrive instead of being bullied by the likes of IV. If it's better to sue than to innovate, as Apple is doing to Samsung, then there is a problem here. The system is bad. As it stands, he's showing the flaws.

    "He is attempting to raise the stink level where no stink exists."

    Where, the lobbying which pays for her? Why don't we look at that for a second? Link. Okay, here's Opensecrets. It displays all the numbers for lobbying power. And every year, as more and more companies lobby to Congress for time, lobbying power and expenditure has increased, even in a recession. So far, the number of lobbyists is almost equal. So the stink raised for lobbying? It seems to be a valid point so far. And in all this, I've yet to hear about consumer concerns. If anything consumers get form letters.

    "It's probably why it plays so well on Techdirt, because he is giving you guys the answer you want to hear, not the actual truth."

    So what is the truth? That lobbyists aren't allowing public concerns in Congress? That somehow, all of the data is wrong? What exactly are you trying to implicate by saying people aren't getting it, when there's a mountain of evidence against:

    A) Patent law being "Good"
    B) Lobbyists control the vote
    C) The public is being screwed no matter what?

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    Another problem is that the politicians writing laws on everything out there aren't expert. In that case, sweet talking, which happens when someone offers to help you get re-elected by pouring some cash over you, can sound awfully accurate.

    Politicians are also attacked for almost anything they do.. if anything goes wrong (which is very possible because of the interdependency of so many players and factors) or takes too long to pan out (ie, short v. long term strategizing). One major thing that might go wrong is that the economy will hurt or that there will be correlations with someone out there (say a foreigner) gaining just as it appears we are losing. If you took an active position, many will blame you regardless of the logic if enough money pushes that other view.

    Money does have a corrupting influence (including the fear of having loads of it and lies be pushed against you come election time), but it isn't the totality of the problem.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Re: Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    ..and in terms of influence ("sweet talk"), money speaks. Many people, especially over subjects where you lack expertise, will likely trust the judgement of a person that gets things done or appears to (eg, makes lots of money) over what a common nobody might say or even a person who has a name but doesn't appear to put that action into being able to make lots of money (and employ, etc).

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    As always, if you start with your conclusion, you can almost always write your way back to the intro and make it look credible.

    Careful there. Talking about your employers like that is a good way to get replaced.

     

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  54.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    Give Congress the internet. That would disrupt them enough.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 10:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Now, I know that is a popular version of the truth around here,

    Heh, that little comment is pretty revealing about how you IP people think. You don't go around telling lies, do you? Oh no, you just have different "versions" of the truth! Hilarious.

    because nobody can show us a planet where we work without patents, so we don't know what it would be like without the system

    Because there have always been patents everywhere, huh? What's that, just another of your versions of the truth?

    I'm not even going to bother with the rest of your comment.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 10:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "He is attempting to raise the stink level where no stink exists."

    If you *like* the smell of sh*t, that is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 11:08pm

    Re: They'll figure it out

    It already has. 12 years of state based baby sitting as opposed to education, a union based education system, Lowest common denominator testing, and regulations saying you can not call people stupid, have all contributed to the mental downfall of the US population.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 5th, 2011 @ 4:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Jay, to get to his conclusion, you first have to assume that there is nothing good about patents.

    No, you just have to avoid assuming that there is something good about patents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 5th, 2011 @ 5:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Fox called, and they're suing you for the use of "popular truth".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    theDude, Aug 5th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    "it bizarrely includes clear favors to Wall St.,"

    Its almost cute you think that's surprising

     

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  61.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2011 @ 7:14am

    Re:

    I cringe when I hear a politician talk about spurring innovation by making it easier and faster to get patents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Everyone in DC /is/ corrupt.

    Another problem is that the politicians writing laws on everything out there aren't expert.

    Politicians don't write laws. I think you're thinking of lobbyists and Congressional staffers.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    staff, Aug 5th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    giveaway for banks

    "patent reform"

    Just because they call it “reform” doesn’t mean it is.

    The patent bill is nothing less than another monumental federal giveaway for banks, huge multinationals, and China and an off shoring job killing nightmare for America. Even the leading patent expert in China has stated the bill will help them steal our inventions. Who are the supporters of this bill working for??

    Patent reform is a fraud on America. This bill will not do what they claim it will. What it will do is help large multinational corporations maintain their monopolies by robbing and killing their small entity and startup competitors (so it will do exactly what the large multinationals paid for) and with them the jobs they would have created. Yet small entities create the lion's share of new jobs. According to recent studies by the Kauffman Foundation and economists at the U.S. Census Bureau, “startups aren’t everything when it comes to job growth. They’re the only thing.” This bill is a wholesale slaughter of US jobs. Those wishing to help in the fight to defeat this bill should contact us as below.

    Small entities and inventors have been given far too little voice on this bill when one considers that they rely far more heavily on the patent system than do large firms who can control their markets by their size alone. The smaller the firm, the more they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors.

    Please see http://truereform.piausa.org/ for a different/opposing view on patent reform.
    http://docs.piausa.org/

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Dean, Aug 5th, 2011 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re:

    I agree
    It's all about politics and big government helping big buiness
    In the case the banks. A high powered law firm with ties to the democratic party is helping a little guy. Yes that hurts the republicans supporters on the banking world. But this seems rather far fetched. Befor Datatreasury technology check archiving cost were over 1 dollar per check. With this technology, Datatreasury asked for 1-3 cents per check
    The banks want it for free. Bank lobbies now are negotiating for .005 per check. This is a patent issue. Not a participant issue
    It is a pate

     

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  65.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2011 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    In the case the banks. A high powered law firm with ties to the democratic party is helping a patent troll.

    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: They'll figure it out

    It already has. 12 years of state based baby sitting as opposed to education, a union based education system, Lowest common denominator testing, and regulations saying you can not call people stupid, have all contributed to the mental downfall of the US population.

    You forgot the abolition of slavery. That's when all this federal meddling really picked up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: giveaway for banks

    The smaller the firm, the more they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors.

    The smaller the firm, the less they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors.

    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    "Politicians are supposed to be the people's socket puppets, not the corporations, not the little special interests, but the whole of society."

    Hahahahah. You don't get it do you? Politicians never were sock puppets for the "people" (a rather manipulative term which the word in reality is actually talking about the wealthy few not the working classes like us) but rather for their own class interests which are the wealthy few (the corporations) which has always been all along...have you people realized that yet?

    Most people forget the system we're living under which Capitalism and what is designed for and who benefits from it....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Paul leaf, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Section 18

    When the big banks that have caused the worst economic recession since the Great Depression because of their corrupt practices, and have lost every case in the Federal Courts trying to overturn U.S. Patents that don't suit their purposes can control the U.S. congress because of their election donations, we ARE in trouble. And, it's not just the Bush years famous for their giveaways to the super rich. It's going on right now in the Obama administration. Now, that's a perversion of power leading to the weakening of our democracy, heading for an autocracy of MONEY and to hell with the people struggling to pay for their housing and feeding their children .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Thomas Edison, Aug 27th, 2011 @ 2:27am

    Keep Jobs in U.S.A.

    Petition to Congress & President (Keep Jobs In U.S.)... Please Sign: < http://signon.org/sign/dont-give-american-jobs >

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Ron Robinson, Aug 28th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

    Current Patent Reform will really kill many jobs

    I've been astonished at how the 'patent reform' legislation will kill jobs, and it's a 'two-fer' for being unconstitutional. See: http://www.redstate.com/elronaldo/2011/08/25/obamareid-plan-more-mischief-when-senate-reconvenes/ It's a huge payoff for the Big Banks and Wall Street, so Obama and Harry Reid want to bring this quietly to the floor of the Senate in non-amendable fashion on the very first day back from recess. I hope we can stop them and activists who want to help stop it can go here - see http://jobsNOTbanks.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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