President Obama’s speech today focused on its newly formed “strategy for American innovation” — his “strategy to foster new jobs, new businesses, and new industries by laying the groundwork and the ground rules to best tap our innovative potential. . . . [R]ooted in a simple idea: that if government does its modest part, there’s no stopping the most powerful and generative economic force that the world has ever known, and that is the American people. . . . [Beginning with] the building blocks of innovation: education, infrastructure, research.”
The Administration’s policy paper focuses briefly on two aspects of intellectual property and patent law divided between a need for strong international enforcement and a call for reform of the US system.
Enforce our trade agreements to ensure access for American products abroad. Over the last eight years the enforcement of trade agreements slowed dramatically, with the United States bringing only an average of three WTO cases per year – as opposed to the approximately 11 annually from 1995 to 2001. In this era, the United States lost its focus on ensuring that other countries lived up to their promises to open their markets, not violate America’s intellectual property, and not use dumping or subsidies to penetrate America’s markets. Under President Obama, USTR and the Department of Commerce are committed to a new emphasis on enforcing our existing agreements.
Protect intellectual property rights. Intellectual property is to the digital age what physical goods were to the industrial age. We must ensure that intellectual property is protected in foreign markets and promote greater cooperation on international standards that allow our technologies to compete everywhere. The Administration is committed to ensuring that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has the resources, authority, and flexibility to administer the patent system effectively and issue high-quality patents on innovative intellectual property, while rejecting claims that do not merit patent protection.
The administration’s talking points on the USPTO link-in with Professor Rai’s calls for greater patent office power and autonomy – “ensuring that the [USPTO] has the resources, authority, and flexibility to administer the patent system efficiently.”