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Patent Page

Texas American Legion Post Opposes Patent Bill

Harding Blaine Post 0321, Department of Texas, April 17, 1998

WHEREAS, Bills currently pending in the House (H.R. 400) and the Senate (S. 507) would radically change our 200-year-old patent system, remove safeguards that were assured by Article One, Section Eight of our Constitution, and destroy the system which had made innovation flourish in our country since its founding; and

WHEREAS, The contributions of independent inventors have been essential to our Nation's economy, defense, and world leadership for two centuries; and

WHEREAS, All that can be lost in the stroke of a legislative pen if the subject bills become law; and

WHEREAS, Throughout our history, major technological breakthroughs have originated in individual genius . . . genius that is rewarded through the U.S. patent system in a way unlike the rest of the world; and

WHEREAS, S. 507/H.R. 400 would change all of that in a misguided effort to "harmonize" our system with the failed systems of other countries.

WHEREAS, This move to destroy our system is being guided by our economic opponents on the world market, by those who would weaken our defense systems, and by multinational companies who owe allegiance only to their profit and loss sheet, not the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, There are also some supporters for the bills both inside and outside the Congress who fail to see that we will eat our own seed corn by dumbing down our patent system to match those of Japan and other countries in Asia and Europe; and

WHEREAS, The proposed changes are highly technical and defy easy understanding by those not well versed in patent law; and

WHEREAS, Many millions of dollars have been spent in lobbying to ensure that the proposed changes and their impact are concealed from the public and from busy members of Congress; and

WHEREAS, Study by experts has disclosed that the intent of these bills is: (a) to ensure that inventors' confidential data is published well before the inventors have patent protection, thus allowing others to infringe on the patent with impunity; (b) to increase the opportunity for others to challenge the patent and drive the independent inventor out of business via litigation; (c) to deny the inventor the exclusive right to his/her invention during the patent protected period; (d) to change the Patent Office (PTO) so that it is under less Congressional control and oversight and more influenced by multinational and foreign companies.

WHEREAS, Most U.S. defense systems and advanced technology, that have in the past, and continue to the present, to protect our armed forces are the result of individual American genius; and

WHEREAS, Not only will the cited bills remove much of the incentive for such innovation, but their proposed early publication and sharing with foreigners will greatly increase the risk of potentially classified inventions falling into the wrong hands; and

WHEREAS, Experts on national security in the House and Senate, as well as in the private sector, have expressed grave concern about this risk.

WHEREAS, Many medical devices that have helped our military forces and our brave veterans recover from injuries are the result of individual inventors, both inside and outside the medical profession: the MRI, the Pacemaker, new surgical techniques, wheelchairs, to name a few.

WHEREAS, The inventors of these very devices are among the legion of individual inventors who say that the proposed bills will destroy their ability to continue to develop such innovations; and

WHEREAS, Our economy is increasingly dependent on a technology which has permitted the U.S. to be the world leader for over 60 years, using our strength to ensure peace as no other nation has done in the history of the world, and

WHEREAS, Those brave veterans of W.W.I, W.W.II, et al, not only fought to preserve freedom for the U.S. and the rest of the world . . . but then proceeded to rebuild the very countries they conquered, allowing them freedoms and affording them resources unheard of heretofore; and

WHEREAS, Unfortunately, some of these nations are gaining our systems to win on the economic battlefield what they could not win on the war field.

WHEREAS, Unless we stiffen our trading stance, the U.S. will lose the very strength that has allowed us to defend the freedom our citizens and citizens throughout the world now enjoy; and

WHEREAS, This assertion was validated by a recent public statement of 26 Nobel Laureates, world acclaimed for their expertise in science and economics; now be it

RESOLVED, by Post No. 0321, The American Legion, Department of Texas, in a regular meeting assembled in Harding Blaine Post, April 16, 1998, that The American Legion express its opposition to the passage of the U.S. Senate Bill S. 507 and by directing the National Commander to forward a copy of this resolution to the President and Congress; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Legion encourage its members to go on record by contacting their members of Congress; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, That the National Commander be directed to appoint one or more representatives to participate in the ongoing review of all information related to Senate Bill

S. 507 and House Bill H.R. 400 and any successors in order to have a solid baseline of information on National Security implications involving veterans, small business, inventions, and associated patent matters.


 
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