Patent Roles on the Economy

Innovation is a word tossed around from industry to industry in an effort to describe the inspiration for change. The value of these creations relies on the strength of the protection behind it. These changes can be life altering and we see innovations in medicine, transportation, and even footwear. Its only a matter of time before many more follow in the path trailed by these changes, but to what degree? Is there room left for anything new? Charles H. Duell, the Commissioner of US patent office in 1899, quotes, "everything that can be invented has been invented.” Has it?

Society is shifting into cloud service based economics and a growing number of young professionals are generating income from platforms unimaginable to previous generations. The old models of revenue streams no longer apply and many methods will be adjusted to accommodate the demographics. It is no longer a standard to wake up early and drive to the office to be a member of society, we can simply log in and post. It is possible to see new concepts of innovation being patented as well as their intent of use. Some patents are being retained for the sole purpose of litigation with no real tangible products produced. Their goals are completely abstract from traditional reasoning to patent.

Education streams live at our finger tips and information is available to remove the experts skilled in the field; making room for more mistakes. Legislation is taking favor to this fact giving more power to the sole inventor claims. “The stronger Patents Act 2017 is designed to make post-issuance proceedings before the PTAB more fair and efficient, and to address emerging concerns about these proceedings and the continual weakening of patent rights by the courts. The bill would allow each claim of patent to be challenged in only one IPR, and would limit petitioners to file only a single challenge per patent. It would also afford patent owners a concrete opportunity to amend their claims after a petition is filed and crack down on abusive demand letters” while restricting management companies ability to fight against infringement. Amanda Ciccatelli of inside counsel.

Although this may be necessary to reduce the cooks in the kitchen, who speaks for up against the big companies eating all the pie? Companies like Google and Amazon are stepping in and squeezing everyone out. It began with the death of the ‘corner store’ and ‘mom and pops’ into department and super stores. Millions of jobs are being out sourced in production and now from on the shelf to ‘next day delivery’.

Robert E. Scott of the Economic Policy Institute in January 2017 reports, “U.S. exports to China in 2001 supported 171,900 jobs, but U.S. imports displaced production that would have supported 1,129,600 jobs. Therefore, the $83.0 billion trade deficit in 2001 displaced 957,700 jobs in that year. Net job displacement rose to 3,077,000 jobs in 2008 and 4,401,000 jobs in 2015. That means that since China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 and through 2015, the increase in the U.S.–China trade deficit eliminated or displaced 3,443,300 U.S. jobs. The U.S. trade deficit with China increased by $100.8 billion (or 37.9 percent) between 2008 and 2015. During that period, the number of jobs displaced increased by 43.0 percent.”

What opportunity do we foresee for our future generations ability to sustain themselves financially under surmounting debt of loans and credit? "Unless we demonstrate a strong commitment to fiscal sustainability in the longer term, we will have neither financial stability nor healthy economic growth," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently told Congress. The overall debt is now slightly over 80% of the annual output of the entire U.S. economy, as measured by the gross domestic product. According to Tom Raum with the Associated Press ABC news.

It is necessary to hold patents privately to create opportunity through creativity. The final frontier is a virtual one that dis-intensifies the physical. At the same time humans as an organism remain fixed with needs for food, shelter, and hygiene. We will continue to consume so the question remains, why give opportunity to a faceless entity? Changes with innovation can move symbiotically with the digital era. There is protection against major players highjacking technology from the little guy. Now more than ever it is critical to make a positive impact against the dissolving commerce through licensing rights to use.

Companies that provide resources to enforce patent rights against infringers offer security to those opportunities created by inventors. There is more to be invented, there are new ways of thinking and doing, legal professionals are still a critical part of the equation, and fighting for it is what will make the difference in a functioning community.

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