Cringely: Congress threatens patents

Robert X. Cringely (the pseudonym not the registered trademark) writes in his weekly column, “Patently Absurd: Patent Reform Legislation in Congress Amounts to Little More Than a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card for Microsoft.”

Late last month, shortly before the U.S. Congress shut down for its summer recess, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Intellectual Property subcommittee held an unusual hearing — unusual because the only committee member attending the hearing was the chairman, Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah. Why would such a prestigious committee hold a hearing in Washington attended by only one member? To slam through some controversial legislation, of course. Senator Hatch was trying to pass a new law “reforming” the U.S. patent system and apparently felt it would all go much more smoothly without the presence of the other committee members.

Legislation to remove the rights of citizens and small businesses to innovate need to stop. Congress needs to get back to doing what the Constitution empowered it to do: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.