Republican Debate: Removing Roadblocks more Important than Incentives

The first Republican Presidential Debate was enjoyable, if also scary. No mention of patents or invention other than Dr. Carson’s remarks about how American became great:

America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity, innovation, and that’s what will get us on the right track now, as well.

Patents are configured as a mechanism to encourage R&D and commercial activities. The business related discussion focused instead on undoing regulations that the candidates argue hampers economic activity: Dodd-Frank; EPA Regs; Obamacare; and an “unfair” tax code.   The following is from Marco Rubio:

The first thing we need to do is we need to even out the tax code for small businesses so that we lower their tax rate to 25 percent, just as we need to lower it for all businesses.

We need to have a regulatory budget in America that limits the amount of regulations on our economy. We need to repeal and replace Obamacare and we need to improve higher education so that people can have access to the skills they need for 21st century jobs.

And last but not least, we need to repeal Dodd-Frank. It is eviscerating small businesses and small banks.

At Mizzou, our new Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship is focusing on the role of regulation (including intellectual property rights) on the business environment for small and start-up businesses.  Looking forward to more substantive discussion on this topic.

45 thoughts on “Republican Debate: Removing Roadblocks more Important than Incentives

  1. 11

    Inability to obtain enforceable patents and thus to show ownership of meaningful IP is a big road block to startups trying to obtain funding.

    1. 11.1

      As might be added to your fine thoughts, Joachim, for starts-ups (as opposed to established Big Corp), the presence or absence of “product in the market” is decidedly a much different leverage factor.

      Critical thinking should see right through the “gee there should be real products” line of argument.

      Not only is such not a part of current law, and not a part of the fundamental basis of U.S. patent law, such is detrimental to – and in contrast to the mantra – is opposite of what would promote progress.

  2. 9

    In the history of debates, I do not recall anyone laying in to a candidate like Kelly did to Trump. Does anyone recall any other example even close?

  3. 8

    2 ways to promote the cause of peace this year:
    United Nations – support its budget and don’t let right-wingers get away with saying it is “ineffective”. A 2005 Rand Corp. study showed that the UN successfully resolved 7 out of 8 conflicts it entered; in 8 conflicts the U.S. entered during the same time (including Iraq and Afghanistan) only 4 of 8 conflicts were resolved peacefully. Rand Corp. study: link to
    Support the Iran nuclear deal. Details of the actual agreement are here:
    link to

    1. 8.1

      Murry, I was thinking that the penchant for intervening in the “internal” conflicts of other nations was the problem we were trying to avoid.

  4. 7

    Being critical on patents always was assumed to be leftist, liberal, AFAIK. Therefore it strikes me that the very Republicans start asking questions about the effectiveness of the patent system.

      1. 7.2.2

        Learned a new concept! From the Wikipedia text, I guess that “crony capitalism” is a disparaging term – similar to “rent seeking”, but perhaps wider.

        Still it strikes me that this process now leads to a call for less patents wheras it traditionally called for more patents.

        Perhaps true business leaders have a different opinion on patents than their vice presidents responsible for intellectual property. As patent experts they may have a “natural” belief in patents that is not quite supported by the business reality. I recall statements from IBMs former vice-president Nick Donofrio de-emphasizing the importance of patents.


          The call for “less patents” is a false flag operation by those very same “Crony Capitalists.”

          You really need to come up to speed with the real world my friend Reinier.

          Leave that ivory tower and venture forth to see that a system can be used a the same time that its demise can be actively pursued.

          The system IS under attack from both the Left and the Right. Attempting to fold these two camps into one is simply a mistake. To ignore the one and focus only on the other is likewise a mistake.

          These are NOT new thoughts. I suggest that you come up to speed with these “concepts” if you want to put forth a cogent argument related to your “economics” viewpoint and have those thoughts inserted into the discussion of our patent law effectively; otherwise, you appear to be a rube or deceiver or both.

  5. 6

    All of the Republican candidates at Thursday’s debate were scary on the issue of income taxes and foreign affairs. Marco Rubio’s endorsement of a 25% top tax rate for small business owners is especially scary if he intends it to apply to businesses having over $500,000 net profits. The result of such short sighted policy in recent years is skyrocketing deficits. We should devote more attention to spending issues than tax issues, especially ways to promote peace in the world so that our military budget can be reduced.

    1. 6.1

      It’s the whole Laffer curve argument: lower taxes and it might be possible to actually increase tax revenue. Does it work? It’s unclear. Here’s a primer:

      link to

      Also, can’t you cut taxes and also cut expenditures at the same time?

      Anyway, to me, this post on the Patently-O website seems like it’s just an advertisement for the new Center, as the GOP debate seems only tangentially related to the new Center.

      1. 6.2.2

        The same way we promote progress in science and the useful arts. Grant exclusive rights for a limited time to the peace makers. We could call the rights blessings. So, blessed are the peace makers, for they shall in be called sons of…. well MM would call them sons of something else i guess…

  6. 5

    Ben Carson is a creationist, FFS. Why in God’s name should I give a rip what this backwards lunatic thinks about promoting scientific innovation?

    1. 5.1

      He’s a brain surgeon! Therefore he’s super duper smart and we must pay attention to his deep thoughts.

      You know, kinds like those patent attorneys who made partner in big law firms. They always know what they’re talking about.

    2. 5.2


      From the libertarian point of view:

      The Republicans are far too religious — way out there. They are also far to prone to directly intervene in other people’s wars.

      Many Dems today seem to be hard line socialists viewing inequality of wealth itself as a problem and are far too much into quelling dissenting ideas. They are the party of the talking points. That practice began with the Jacobins — a practice that lead to the guillotine for former leaders of the revolution who did not agree with the edicts of the central committee. Talk about scary.

      Both parties are far too much into crony capitalism.

      Elections tend to bring out the worst from the candidates of both parties who have to appeal their party’s base. Perhaps not all of the Republicans are hyper religious, and not all Dems are hard line socialists. But it seems that way from the way they talk.

      There is one exception, to the above, but he just stepped in it big time in the debate.

      1. 5.2.1

        You can thank Citizen’s United – as well as realize that your own “voice” here Ned is very much NOT a personal one (as is required by the posting “rules” wherever they have ben buried and remain rather poorly enforced).

        Bottom line for ALL of them: they are politicians first.


          Speaking of which: the 24 hour left / right news cycle targeting a certain front-running, self-funded billionaire candidate has been a stunning, stunning – if not unexpected – indictment of that decision.


            David, do you think we can restrict freedom of the “press” just because the press are businesses?


              I wonder if the citizens of Oklahoma may have to eventually answer that question…

              Maybe the “Politically Correct” won’t reach that far and maybe they will.


              I don’t see this is an issue of the freedom of the press. Instead, this is about the kill orders that came down from the panicked oligarchs who are faced with the possibility that one of their paid-for puppets might be upended by a self-funded candidate.

              Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc. – they are all just following orders.


                David, I don’t sense the rabid, panicked, hostility towards Trump at Democrat-friendly news orgs.

                Now FOX, a Republican-friendly organization, is indeed panicked and this does suggest a kill-order.

                1. Good thing you GENIUSES just created a massively powerful ADMINISTRATIVE COURT, headed up by Google disciple Michelle K. Lee., governed by the legislators . . . who report to the oligarchs – the same oligarchs who are desperately attempting to squash America’s first self-funded candidate.

                  The wheels are coming off the car, folks.

                2. I was just watching a Fox News show anchored by Bret Baier. He was reporting that his audience, and indeed Fox News, was inundated with hostile messages from Republicans who thought they were in the tank for Bush and against Trump. The Trump v. Fox News issue soaked up all the media attention over the weekend, he reported, so that none of the other candidates, except Fiorina, got any air time at all.

                  It looks like the Fox News effort to sideline Trump failed, and may have indeed boomeranged.

                3. Regarding the PTAB and IPRs, there is no doubt that we are at a crossroads. IPRs are going to have to be declared unconstitutional, or we are not going to have a viable patent system for anybody but the major corporations.

                4. See that David? You point out something that aligns with Ned’s views, and all of a sudden, you’re golden.

                  Ned, you really do need to take care of that alarming lack of objectivity thing you have going. You cannot go on about screaming that the Executive branch body should go out and take power and then whing when they do just that in a way that you don’t like.

                  And it’s not like this two-facedness hasn’t been pointed out to you – it has. Many times.


          anon, there are a lot of very POed Republicans who what Trump gone. But some have pointed out that he has the support of a lot of POed Republicans and Independents who vote Republican that may not support an establishment candidate precisely for the same reason they like Trump, and the Tea Party candidates of recent years.

          What this suggests is that Trump could pull so many non traditional voters that he could easily win against any Democrat in the mold of Reagan. What it also says that if the Republicans nominate another bland establishment type that they will surely lose once again.


            At this point, you probably need to recognize what I have already stated:

            They are all first politicians.

  7. 3

    DC The first Republican Presidential Debate was enjoyable, if also scary.

    I shared a few laughs with my friends, for sure. On the other hand, the repeated notion (frequently applauded) that the biggest problem with America is that our military isn’t huge or threatening enough was frightening. I did appreciate the truth that somehow leaked out of one of the candidates mouths (Huckabee?): “the military is for killing people and breaking things”.

    No mention of patents or invention

    When the answers to the question about small businesses and entrepeneurs were given, I joked that the candidates forgot to say “We need to hand out more patents and make them easier to enforce!”

    We all laughed.

  8. 2

    Fiorina: startups.

    Fiorina: against the patent reform bills in congress as they weaken the patent system.

    Fiorina, former CEO of HP understands innovation and patents more than any other candidate.

    1. 2.1

      Fiorina’s record at HP was absolutely horrendous. Against that, how many people will care what she has to day about patents?


          This is about the least hostile summation of her tenure that you will find online: link to
          Or you could look here: link to

          She nearly destroyed HP, and among those who were there when she was its CEO, her name is a curse. She laid off tens of thousands of HP employees, wrecked many more lives, and then, as she was being booted out of the place, looted HP (with the connivance of a craven board happy to be rid of her) to the tune of $40,000,000 in the form of a golden parachute. After firing tens of thousands of HP workers to cut costs. America does not need her running anything.


            Summary: she paid to much for Compaq at a time of the dot-com crash forcing her to lay off tens of thousands. Second, she has a tin ear — laying off many while taking huge bonuses for herself.

            Well, Egon, there is a candidate in a different party who is similarly renown for treating people like trash, with utter contempt. There is no way in the world we should let that candidate anywhere near the presidency.

            What we need is a candidate who has integrity and whose employees will follow them to the gates of Hades. A person of character.

            But thanks for the link about Fiorina.


              Actually, if someone is going to run on his or her putative strengths as a CEO, having a record of the sort that inspires current and former employees to say nice things about them is a pretty good idea. And Fiorina didn’t just have a tin ear – especially not insofar as HP’s employees (of whom I have known more than a few) or this board ought to be concerned. She disproportionately gutted HP R&D, firing many thousands of American engineers, outsourcing still more jobs, and THEN helped herself to a $40,000,000 in HP money while exiting the place. In a better governed nation, that last bit of self-largesse might well land someone in a prison cell for a nice long time, or at least they’d be compelled to return what they took from the shareholders. But what can I say? God Bless America.


                Well, Egon, Wallace did bring up Fiorina’s record at HP in Sunday’s interview. Her HP record going to really hurt her chances.

                But, do records really count? The O-man had virtually none when he beat the “war hero.”

                However, I think Kerry’s war record sank his swift boat. Perhaps the we will see similar videos (to Kerry’s legion of “admiring” fellow officers) of angry HP employees wanting to tell it all about Fiorina.

                Prediction: the higher she goes, the more fire she will draw about her time at HP. People will not like what they hear.

  9. 1

    Editorial comments such as “enjoyable, if also scary”, to be useful content of value to your readers, should likely be followed up with some explicit identification of substance.

    Here I assume “enjoyable” is meant to indicate a purely subjective emotion which is probably not something you need delve into, but by implication the term “scary” indicates the external existence of a threat of some kind.

    Such a thing puts a reader into a high state of awareness and anticipation… which is left hanging as the rest of the post did not shine any light on the matter.

    1. 1.1


      Does not Malcolm’s “laughter” “answer” any sense of “high state of awareness and anticipation”…?

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