Patents and Unions, WTF!

Now here is a courageous way for the AFL-CIO to protect jobs — strengthening intellectual property laws.  What do you think?

Hitt, Greg. 2007. “Patent System’s Revamp Hits Wall: Globalization Fears Stall Momentum in Congress.” Wall Street Journal (27 August): p. A 3.

“A bipartisan effort in Congress to overhaul the patent system — a priority for some of the nation’s biggest technology companies — is hitting resistance because of concerns the U.S. might be exposed to greater foreign competition. Patent overhaul appeared to be on a fast track earlier this summer. But plans for a quick vote got derailed last month after the AFL-CIO entered the debate, warning that innovation — and union-backed manufacturing jobs — might be at risk if the changes were adopted. The union has considerable clout in the Democratic Congress and expressed concerns with provisions that would expose patents to expanded challenges and might limit damages for infringement. “At a time when the Chinese government is constantly being challenged to live up to its intellectual-property obligations, we do not want to take actions that may weaken ours,” the AFL-CIO’s legislative director, William Samuel, said in the pointed missive that was circulated on Capitol Hill.


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