Next Secretary of Commerce: Senator Gregg?

Republican Senator Judd Gregg appears poised to be nominated as the next Secretary of Commerce. The PTO reports to Commerce, and the next Secretary will likely play an important role in selecting the next PTO directors and in directing PTO policy.

As it turns out, one of Senator Gregg's more controversial actions involves patent issues. In 2000, Gregg's alma mater Columbia University convinced Greg to insert a patent extension provision into an ag spending bill. If it had passed, the extension would have given new life to Columbia's about-to-expire patents that were earning $100 million annually through licensing agreements. [NYTimes][Quinn].

In the past, Senator Gregg has sponsored legislation for rapid approval of generic biosimilars after expiration of the original patents and legislation to extend patents that help support the war on terror. For years, Senator Gregg has also been deeply involved in appropriations.

13 thoughts on “Next Secretary of Commerce: Senator Gregg?

  1. I wonder, what the odds are that MM just accidentally disclosed Claim 1 of an allowed NSA patent under secrecy order?

    “Mr. Mooney! That one’s going on your permanent record!”

  2. According to the Thomas website, Sen. Gregg was not a sponsor or co-sponsor of the 2006/2007/2008 so-called patent reform acts. At least that doesn’t weigh against him.

    2006 S.3818 sponsored by Sen. Hatch, co-sponsored by Sen. Leahy
    Source: link to thomas.loc.gov

    2007 S.1145 sponsored by Sen. Leahy; 9 co-sponsors, not including Sen. Gregg
    Source: link to thomas.loc.gov

    2008 S.3600 sponsored by Sen. Kyl, no co-sponsors
    Source: link to thomas.loc.gov:

  3. I suspect that Gregg is a choice primarily to dispel any appearance on impropriety in the Census Bureau, with the PTO as a distant afterthought.

    The biggest issues facing a new PTO director, it seems to me are (1) how to secure the funding necessary to speed up examinations, and (2) whether to take any meaningful steps towards resolving the strong patent oriented pharma industry and the weak patent oriented tech industry. The line up of Bilski amici show that while lots of people care deeply about the issues, that consensus is lacking even within many key impacted industries on the right course of action. The safest course for a PTO director, it would seem, would be to refrain from issuing any more regulations than absolutely necessary and to defer to the Federal Circuit and SCOTUS which have taken a much more active interest in the field of late.

  4. “legislation to extend patents that help support the war on terror.”

    I can hear the wingnuts in their parents’ basements, frantically drafting the claims:

    “A method of detecting Islamofascists, comprising measuring an individual’s terrorist data features, collecting said data features in an analysis windown, and executing an inference evaluation protocol to determine if said individual is an Islamofascist, wherein said determining is achieved by a POWERFUL COMPUTER BRAIN.”

  5. Gregg should do fine. Any controversy that he might have pales in comparison to other Dept. Heads in or being considered by the current administration. We have the Treasury Secy. Geitner’s failure to pay taxes; HHS Secy. nominee Daschle’s failure to pay taxes; Attorney General Holder filed an amicus brief in Heller that the Second Amendment is not an individual right; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson who was Obama’s first choice for Commerce secretary withdrawing under pressure of a federal investigation into how his political donors landed a lucrative transportation contract; and Secy of State Clinton who hopefully can be impartial in conflicts involving Israel when her husband has gotten tens of millions of dollars from Arabian governments. Change or more of the same. Ron Paul for real change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>