Conservatives Turn on Patent Tribunal They Helped Create

In the ongoing insanity that is IP (Intellectual Property), conservatives are now turning against a patent tribunal that was intended to protect people from frivilous lawsuits and patent trolling.  As it turns out, the tribunal is simply offering patent protections against large corporations.  The mess further highlights the preposterous notion that you can somehow claim property rights over thoughts and ideas that are not scarce resources.

The litigation of such matters will almost always favor whoever has the best paid lawyers, thus making IP the favorite control mechanism of the powerful and mighty who have ties to the coercive enterprise, the state.

From Reuters

“Things have really flipped when it comes to the conservative perspective on patents,” said Charles Duan, a lawyer with left-leaning consumer group Public Knowledge.

Much of the credit goes to activists who have convinced many conservatives that the real problem is not out-of-control litigation but how the tribunal designed to speed up resolving patent disputes favors big business over smaller rivals.

The change of positions has been aided by deepening right-wing distrust of tech giants, such as Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, which have benefited the most from PTAB while embracing liberal causes like immigration or gay and transgender rights. (Graphic:

The U.S. Supreme Court is due to rule sometime next year on whether the tribunal is an unconstitutional intrusion of the executive branch onto matters reserved for the courts and influential conservative groups are already weighing in.

The Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, Federalist Society, and the American Conservative Union have published articles or submitted briefs arguing that PTAB should be abolished.


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