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Why Are So Many Republicans So Stupid About Patents?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

It boggles the mind how monstrously dumb the Republican Party can be. They ain’t called “The Stupid Party” for nothing.

To wit: The GOP has spent the last seven years winning more than 1,000 elective offices up and down the ballot - in large part because Obamacare has been such an unmitigated disaster. They spent great swaths of that time campaigning very vigorously on repealing it.

Now that the GOP controls both houses of Congress and the White House, they are steadfastly refusing to repeal Obamacare. It’s as if they missed the last near-decade entirely or spent it lying their faces off. Either way, they are titanically stupid.

Also to wit: So many think the political rise and election of Donald Trump demonstrate said stupidity. The exact opposite is true. The GOP’s dumbness predates Trump by decades. Trump is a response to the dumbness, not a symptom of it.

Also to wit: The GOP is supposed to be the Party protecting individuals and the property they possess.

We the People earn money. It’s our property, and we should be allowed to keep almost all of it. Republicans are supposed to be the ones limiting its theft by government.

We’re now nine months into DC GOP domination, and my faith in their ability to lower tax rates and reform the code is reaching an Obamacare-repeal nadir.

Then there is intellectual property (IP). Patents, copyrights, trademarks and the like. What they lack in physicality they more than make up for in direct, enumerated Constitutional protection.

Property is property, and the GOP is supposed to be the Party that protects property. Yet so many Republicans are actively on the wrong side when it comes to protecting IP, which is titanically stupid.

The mythical beast the GOP (and the Left) is allegedly looking to slay is the “patent troll," which is just a little less real than actual conservative Republicans.

Republican California Congressman Darrell Issa is the richest member of Congress.  How did he get there? With his car alarm systems, all of which were protected by… patents. Yet he is the lead House dog looking to bite the IP hand that so brilliantly fed him.

The lead Senate dog attacking IP is Utah Republican Orrin Hatch. Who just wrote this massive bit of nonsense:

“Our nation’s patent system has been in need of serious reform for many years. So-called “patent trolls” - entities that don’t actually make or sell anything but that instead buy patent licenses merely to extort settlements - have become a serious drain on our economy. According to one study, patent trolls and their frivolous lawsuits cost our country nearly $80 billion per year.”

This is just one giant, stupid lie.

“Entities that don’t actually make or sell anything but that instead buy patent licenses” aren’t trolls. They’re a vitally important part of the system.

Have you ever met an inventor? A creative genius who is just a little too weird for the world? They aren’t normal. They are artists (and I am absolutely not disparaging either Normals or Artists. The world needs, and thus should relish, both).

Think the Inventor, who sees the world from such an acute angle that he can come up with these brilliant new things, who can then transmogrify into the sort of straight-laced, straight-thinking CEO type who can manage his patent portfolio?

There are sixteen different personality types. These are two vastly different ones. Rarely are elements of both found in one person.

What most inventors would very much rather do is keep inventing. They want to turn their last inventions into cash, with which to fund their next forays into the wild.

Enter the people who the likes of Issa and Hatch disparage as “patent trolls.” Or, as the investors think of them, angel saviors.

These people make the next inventions possible by turning the last ones into inventor research cash, inventor rent, inventor groceries, inventor clothes (such as they are), and inventor, etc.

The patent portfolio holders are the conduits between Inventor World and the Outside World.

So when Hatch writes that these are “Entities that don’t actually make or sell anything but that instead buy patent licenses merely to extort settlements have become a serious drain on our economy. According to one study, patent trolls and their frivolous lawsuits cost our country nearly $80 billion per year” he is being either seriously disingenuous or seriously stupid. And if he’s being disingenuous that is seriously stupid.

The end-user people ultimately purchasing the patent use rights for product use would have to purchase these rights from someone. If the inventors hadn’t sold their patents, the purchasers would have spent $80 billion purchasing the rights from the inventors.

In other words, the $80 billion would have been spent regardless.

I have in the past sold used cars to car dealerships because I didn’t want to deal with listing the vehicle on CraigsList and God knows wherever else and then dealing with the rash of calls and showings to the masses. I am not a car salesman, and I do not want to pretend to be.

The dealership then sold my old car. This doesn’t make them “car trolls.” It made them people who made my life a whole lot easier and gave me cash for my property.

The person who then purchased my old car had to pay someone for it. It matters not if it was me or the dealership, their money had to be spent.

Hatch and Issa bizarrely call this a problem. I call it the free market working beautifully with cash and less headache for me.

The inventors did with their patent property what everyone who owns property should be able to do. They sold it to whomever they wished because they aren’t IP businessmen and they do not want to pretend to be.

Rather than hawking their existing patents they would rather be creating more of them.

All of this is a better IP world for everyone.

Except for the Left, who have never, ever liked private property. And, bizarrely, some members of the GOP, who are supposed to be defending private property in all its forms and uses.

None of that is very bright at all.

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