The globalists are making a new attempt to circumvent and weaken a right explicitly recognized in the U.S. Constitution: Americans' exclusive ownership of their own inventions.
Fortunately, Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., have exposed this mischief and called on Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., to slow down and discuss the proposed legislation before making costly mistakes.
As we've learned with "Comprehensive Immigration Reform," we should all be on guard any time politicians patronize us with pompous talk about "reform." The so-called Patent Reform Act of 2007 is not reform at all; in one package, it betrays both individual rights and U.S. sovereignty.
It's no accident that the United States has produced the overwhelming majority of the world's great inventions. It's because the Founding Fathers invented the world's best patent system, which was a brilliant stroke of inspired originality when the Constitution was written in 1787, and still is stunningly unique in the world.
The political pressure for the new bill comes from the "world is flat" globalists who want to level the U.S. patent system with other countries. "Harmonization" is a favorite trigger word in their arguments. For example, in introducing new bill, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., said it will "harmonize U.S. patent law with the patent law of most other countries." The explanation of the bill issued by Leahy's office states that the bill's purpose is to eliminate "a lack of international consistency."
But because the U.S. system produces more important inventions than the rest of the world combined, why should we legislate "consistency" with inferior foreign policies?
The uniqueness of the American system is that "inventors" are granted "the exclusive right" to their inventions "for limited times" (usually about 18 years) after which the invention goes into the public domain. Exclusivity was assured because U.S. courts would uphold the inventor's patent against infringers, and the U.S. Patent Office would not disclose any information in a patent application unless and until the legal protection of a patent was granted. Rejected patent applications were returned to the applicants with their secrets intact.
The so-called patent "reform" of 1999 radically changed this to allow the U.S. Patent Office to publish the details of inventions 18 months after they are filed, unless the inventor agrees NOT to file a patent application in another country. Other countries do not respect inventors' rights granted by the U.S. Patent Office.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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