speaking on the patent system and innovation… ‘I think for technology it inhibits it dramatically’


In an historically significant patent case in England in the 1800’s, in its decision the high court described the accused infringer as “an ant on the shoulders of a giant”. That inventor giant was Alfred Nobel. American inventors will tell you Cuban is one such ant.

Patents do not inhibit innovation -only theft of.

Infringers like to speak of innovation, but they never speak of invention. That’s because they rarely invent anything except slogans, but instead rely on and build their businesses on the inventions of others. They are basically horse thieves. They wait for you to establish a market then use their far greater resources to steal it from you.

This is a good time for America to reflect on the words of one of our founders and Presidents, James Madison. As he wrote in Federalist No. 43 regarding constitutionally recognized rights of inventors and that portion of the Constitution as proposed, “The utility of the clause will scarcely be questioned. The copyright of authors has been solemnly adjudged, in Great Britain, to be a right of common law. The right to useful inventions seems with equal reason to belong to the inventors. The public good fully coincides in both cases with the claims of the individuals.”

It’s about property rights. What could be more American.

Property rights should not only be for the rich and powerful. America’s founders: Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and others felt so strongly about the rights of inventors that they recognized and affirmed those rights to their creations and discoveries in the Constitution.

From ‘Section 8 – Powers of Congress:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;’

They understood the trade off. Inventors are given a limited monopoly and in turn society gets the benefits of their inventions (telephone, computer, airplane, automobile, lighting, etc) into perpetuity and the jobs the commercialization of those inventions bring. For 200 years the patent system has not only fueled the US economy, but the world’s. If we weaken the patent system as have Congress and the courts since Mercexchange, we force inventors underground like Stradivarius (anyone know how to make a Stradivarius violin?) and in turn weaken our economy and job creation. Worse yet, we destroy the American dream -the ability to prosper from our ingenuity for the benefit of our families and communities. To kill or weaken the patent system is to kill all our futures. Show me a country with weak or ineffective property rights and I’ll show you a weak economy with high unemployment. If we cannot own the product of our minds or labors, what can we be said to truly own? Life and liberty are fundamentally tied to and in fact based on property rights. Our very lives are inseparably tied to our property.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s