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Why Stop at Better? Let’s Strive For What’s Best (for Everyone)

March 3, 2009
BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood responsed to a blog post on patent reform today. I'll update this with links to outside posts soon, but you can read it now:

The Coalition for Patent Fairness made a recent addition to the patent blogosphere with their new venture—Building a Better Mousetrap. The Coalition members, which include international tech companies such as Microsoft, Google and Dell, argue that “We’d be able to do more, create more jobs, innovate and create more products if [we] weren’t saddled with unjustified patent infringement charges and costly litigation.”

Unfortunately, this line of argument is just like a piece of cheese lying out in the open—luring people towards the promise of more jobs without realizing there is a trap!

Job creation is critical during this economic crisis, and strengthening – not weakening – intellectual property is the way to do it. Says who? Many diverse American institutions including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Association of American Universities, the Arizona Small Business Association, and the National MS Society have all joined together to propose reforms to the patent system that will strengthen American intellectual property, encourage and protect American invention and help create new jobs at home. These labor, university and patient groups are all working as one to ensure that the U.S. maintain its competitive advantage of ingenuity and creativity that will spur the economy in difficult times.

“Building a Better Mousetrap” focuses on the big cheeses that run international tech corporations and the banks that back them, rather than creating a sustainable economy for everyday Americans. Loosening patent restrictions in the short term will not sustain American jobs in the long term and saying as much is misleading. Besides, everyone knows to catch a mouse you use peanut butter, not cheese.

Jim Greenwood

BIO President and CEO