A new documentary film featuring a broad range of industry experts raises a call to action for the U.S. to get its research and innovation house in order.
In interviews with among others a leading technology investor, U.S. Senator and retired Brig. General, ‘Innovation Race’ illustrates why the U.S. needs reliable patents and a fair system to resolve disputes or risk allowing China to move even further and faster towards a leading position in technology and science.
Once it does, these experts suggest, the U.S. may lose a lot more than jobs.
China is a highly aggressive investor in research and development, and perhaps the most active filer of IP rights worldwide, including in the U.S. and Europe. Beijing is doing what the U.S. used to do well – invent and protect – and are happy to see the U.S.’s historically leading innovation system implode by yielding to special interests who desire weak patents and cheap licenses.
The battle with China for innovation supremacy cannot be left to bigtech to fight alone. Independent inventors need to play a role in identifying and developing disruptive inventions that keep us a step ahead of an adversary that is looking to beat the U.S. at its own game – identifying, commercializing and otherwise controlling innovation. China already far outspends the U.S. in research and development. A government-dominated system that acts with one voice, for better or worse, ]and has capital to move quickly.
U.S. venture capital funding has dropped from 21% in 2004 (see graph above) to just 3% in 2017. China has filled much of the void and continues to.
In 2017 there was approximately $240 billion allocated to venture financing globally. In 2021 it was $650 billion. Bloomberg News reports that China’s portion of venture investing grew in 2021 to $131 billion, more than 20% of all venture investment worldwide.
IP issues with regard China, U.S. competitiveness and innovation policy are too important to politicize.
The range of experts interviewed for the film, including Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), a long-time supporter of IP rights legislation, and Gary Lauder, a Silicon Valley investor and inventor advocate, who is also a democrat.
Too Important to Politicize
These political affiliations are particularly important to note. It would be self-defeating to further hamstring the U.S. regarding China by politicizing them. They are NOT republican or democrat problems — they are American ones, and it will require both sides of the political isle to contain China’s formidable moves and our self-destructive ones. The U.S. needs an national innovation policy that address both current and future needs.
The filmmakers went out of their way to include credible experts beyond their own party affiliation. And these experts saw fit to participate in the ‘Innovation Race,’ produced by Tea Party Patriots Action, which supports a range of conservative causes.
It is no surprise that democrats and some republicans will blanch at that. They are urged not to be dismissive. There are some issues they should and can be in sync on. IP issues with regard China, U.S. competitiveness and innovation policy are too important to politicize.
Also interviewed for the film is Center for Intellectual Property Understanding board member and Professor of Law at the Scalia School of Law at George Mason University, Adam Mossoff. Professor Mossoff is a leading authority on the history of IP and patent legislation, and has provided expert testimony before Congress.
The Danger of IP Complacency
- “Patents haven’t just played an important role in growing our economy, they played a key role in the technologies that have made our country safe.” – Adam Mossoff
- “Our patent system used to be very strong and reliable. That is no longer the case.” – Gary Lauder
- “Patents today are worth about half what they were a decade ago.” – Judge Paul Michel, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (ret)
‘Innovation Race’ will be screened in theaters and released publicly soon and available widely shortly after. Watch the trailer, here.
Image source: innovationracemovie.com