Eagle Forum

July 29, 1998

The Honorable Senator Trent Lott
United States Senate
487 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Lott,

Perhaps you will remember that we met at the San Clemente gathering for Dana Rohrabacher. I am the gentleman who Dana introduced to you as the holder of the original patent, of the MRI machine, a patent which has recently been enforced by the U.S. Supreme Court.

We spoke on the serious danger to America and to America's technology innovators of the pending anti-patent legislation, S. 507. I have learned that proponents of this noxious legislation are making representations to the Senate that America's innovators and independent inventors are now satisfied with the bill.

This is false. These are misrepresentations .

America's independent inventors are unchanged in their view of the hostility of this legislation to their patents and to national security.

They remain opposed to:

  1. a privatized patent office that is governed by an advisory board of Big company designees and also by legally appointed designees of foreign corporations. The U.S. Patent Office writes all the regulations that control patent policy in America. America's inventors justifiably trust only the U.S. government elected by the people with this critical responsibility and they want its continued protection. They do not consider it any more appropriate for the corporate interests of America to take charge of this vital piece of American property, Her patents, than it would be for private business interests to control the FBI, the U.S. Army, or the Supreme Court. The Constitution designates the government elected by the people to be the guardian of these vital functions including patents (Article 1, Section 8) and it is self-evident that it should not be changed.

  2. a privatized patent office that is legally empowered by the proposed legislation to accept bribery;

  3. the loss of a patent office of the U.S. government that has always assured our nation's inventors and our patent examiners that the review of our nation's patent applications would be fair and impartial and not subject to pressures from corporate interests that might wish to suppress new technologies that would challenge them;

  4. the broadened powers of reexamination that will put in jeopardy all the patents they now hold, destroy their prospects of using their patents to raise investor capital and cause them to become defendants in legal challenges initiated by large corporations seeking to remove their patents;

  5. the infringer immunity provision ("prior user rights") that grants the infringer immunity from prosecution for any who utilize the technology of the invention before the patent issues. Knowledge of the inventor's technology is readily obtained in today's world by inducements to the inventor's collaborators or through the current widespread practice of industrial espionage; and,

  6. the publication of their inventions to the world after 18 months before the patent is granted and when the inventor may in fact never be granted a patent. This practice alone can cause America's innovators to abandon patents, the public disclosure of their inventions, in favor of trade secrets. The potential loss to the nation at large of this vast resource of American technology in the form of published patents is incalculable, not to mention the unfairness of disclosing his invention to the world before he is granted a patent. The proposed amendment and all of its qualifiers does not alleviate this concern. It should be obvious to anyone, considering this proposal originated by the Japanese, that its purpose is to cause all of America's technology to be immediately divulged to them so they can commence work on it. All of America's patents ARE all of America's technology. This provision is a high priority for the Japanese and other foreign states who seek a leg-up on American competitors by copying technology America has paid for and siphoning away the income from American companies that these companies counted on to be generated by their investments. Claims that they seek the technology of the patents to design around them are disingenuous.

The U.S. patent is one of America's great blessings. She must continue to stand firm and protect it as she has for 200 years. She must not yield to the forces that have forever sought to undermine and neutralize it from the moment it was created. The U.S. patent is vital property that is precious to America. American liberty is precious to America. Both have been paid for with American blood. Neither should be given away. S.507 gives it away. History has taught us that the forces seeking to undermine or destroy the U.S. patent and its economic power have always been present. The special interests, domestic and foreign, seeking its destruction have always been aggressive. They are even more bold today as the brazen provisions of S.507 testify. America will have to stand guard over this vital piece of American property now and ever after. Numerous and ever-present are the interests that would like to see it removed.

Surely no one can ignore the warning sounded by the highest authorities of American science when 26 of America's Nobel scientists issue a petition warning of the tragic consequences for America of S.507. Their warning should be heeded!

Sincerely yours,

Raymond Damadian
President and Chairman

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