President-elect Biden’s ambitious initiatives in R&D investment, diversity and stopping IP theft from People’s Republic of China have little chance of succeeding if his administration is unable (or unwilling) to support clearer and more reliable IP rights.
A campaign white paper published earlier this year emphasizes the importance of increased R&D, inclusion for creators and entrepreneurs and combatting IP abuses on the part of China. Yet the document, which mentions ‘intellectual property’ no fewer than three times, fails to acknowledge the substantial role IP rights must play in achieving these goals. Without reliable patents, better domestic enforcement and licensing, gains in these areas will likely be superficial.
A recent Intangible Investor column that I wrote for IP Watchdog, explores the assertions make in an important Biden campaign document, “Made in All of America – The Biden Plan to Ensure the Future is Made by All Workers.”
The Biden administration should not fool itself into thinking it can tackle large challenges, like the need to provide $300 million or more of U.S. R&D and better support minority creators and entrepreneurs, without a strong foundation for intellectual property rights. Inventors, SMEs, designers, musicians and entrepreneurs will have a difficult time succeeding without the support of IP reliable rights; women and minority creators, even more so.
Between 2008 and 20016 President Obama drank the proverbial ‘Kool-Aid’ when it came to big tech, permitting some loyal businesses to call the shots when it came to innovation and intellectual property policy. Allowing the strongest tech players to lead the way impedes breakthrough innovation and hampers American competitiveness.
Democrats and Republican generally agree that Chinese IP abuse is a threat to American innovation, manufacturing and sales, but attempting to root it out does not constitute a comprehensive IP policy. All U.S. creators need to be able to compete on a level playing field and there needs to be a domestic as well as an international plan to achieve it.
I Can See Clearly, Now
The President-elect’s former White House partner allowed his administration to see strong patents through the lens of big tech at the expense of many small businesses and independent creators.
President-elect Biden has an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of IP rights, especially if he is sincere about increasing R&D and making the U.S. more competitive at home and abroad.
According to a December 21 article, ‘Big tech’s stealth push to influence the Biden administration,’ the Biden team may already be well down the wrong path, despite protestations over tech’s disproportionate control of areas like search and personal data, as well as broad industry and public support to reign it in.
The Intangible Investor column can be found here along with the ‘Made in All of America’ white paper.
Image source: IPWatchdog.com; prosperousamerica.org