115 thoughts on “Trump: IP Theft

  1. 12

    Aside from Trump being the one saying what is being said,

    Is there anything actually there to what is being said?

    Below, David Stein makes a compelling case that the answer is “no.”

    Leastwise, as far as other nations being “the enemy.”

    Instead, “the enemy” is at once much closer and more pernicious.

    “The enemy” are the ones seeking to place what otherwise may be considered “good” ends and seek to NOT have anyone pay attention to the Means to those Ends.

    “The enemy” are the ones that seek to denigrate innovation, just because the form of that innovation is in a form that they “feel” should not be rewarded because for some reason, rewarding that innovation is somehow “taking” something from others.

    This is the enemy that needs to be thrust into the spotlight, the sun light and its ignorance and vampiric tendencies made to sizzle and fry away in the light of inte11ectual honesty.

  2. 11

    All of Trump’s tweets are the ravings of a deranged lunatic.

    Except the ones that mention intellectual property. Those we should take Very Seriously Indeed.

    1. 11.1

      Hence, post 1 below.

    2. 11.2

      Mark, “deranged lunatic.”

      You must be a Democrat.

      1. 11.2.1


        I know plenty of people across the political spectrum who think that Trump is a deranged lunatic.


          anon, Trump derangement syndrome?


            I do not see the point that you are attempting to make with your reply Ned.

            I doubt that Trump is the first to display what people call the deranged lunatic behavior, and I doubt that he deserves his name attached to that behavior.

            Be that as it may, you do not seem to be actually responding to my comment, so if you could provide a little more as to where you are wanting to go with your comment, that might be helpful.


              Anon, Trump derangement syndrome is a term of art that has arisen to describe the reaction of Democrats, fake news media and their fellow travelers to Trump. He is literally driving them nuts.

              I recall something similar back in a day when Reagan was president. They constantly he tried to belittle him in one way or another. They ran in circles thinking that sky was going to fall, literally, when he made the joke about bombing Russian. They were in literal panic about the guy.

              But Reagan turned out to be a tremendous success, perhaps the most successful president in the twentieth century.

              Ditto the Trump presidency. The more successfully he is, the more derranged the commentary.


                Thanks for clarifying that, Ned – I was not aware of that meaning.

                I have heard of a different phrase that appears to fit: don’t get into a mud fight with a pig; the pig enjoys it.

  3. 10

    I have heard that if you are successful in China, but want to expatriate that money to say your parent company, one has to ask the Chinese government to release your money from your bank accounts.

    I would like to hear from others if they heard such things.

  4. 9

    27 comments… and no one has addressed the underlying basis of the post. As IP professionals, shouldn’t we be interested in identifying and discussing the substance of the alleged IP theft? The internet has dozens of forums to throw generic shade at DJT.

    Here’s the allegation (courtesy Forbes):

    For decades, Chinese law has required foreign companies to form joint ventures with local Chinese firms , and, in the process, to transfer vital technology and know-how to their Chinese business partners. Estimating the monetary value of this IP is difficult, but, according to a recent report by the New York Times, the U.S. loses about $600 billion a year to IP theft, with China accounting for the majority of all cases. Over the past several decades, this would amount to trillions of dollars—by far the largest transfer of wealth in history.

    For multinational firms, the uncomfortable truth is that their long-term business campaigns in China are tenuous. At any time, a joint venture partner could walk away with their most prized IP or simply share it with government operatives.

    Take the case of Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), the maker of Japan’s famous bullet train, the Shinkansen. In the early days of China’s expanding high-speed rail network, KHI signed a technology transfer agreement with CSR Sifang, a state-owned Chinese company. But it didn’t take long for CSR Sifang—even as a junior partner to KHI—to quickly absorb this new IP and to develop its own core capabilities.

    The KHI story has been repeated across virtually all business sectors, from wind turbine production to the manufacturing of automobiles. But China’s massive domestic market has a powerful allure; despite the dangers of sharing IP—or having it stolen—foreign firms continue to be drawn into this Faustian bargain.

    And here’s the response:

    In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said there were no laws in China to force foreign investors to transfer technology, but acknowledged such things may happen as part of “market behavior” between companies working with each other.

    I have two general responses.

    First: Kang’s explanation seems quite plausible that the partnerships aren’t legally compelled. The result may even be by design, but fairly achieved.

    China has a massive domestic market. US corporations want to participate, but can’t do it flying solo – due not only to China’s massive manufacturing base, but also knowledge about Chinese marketing, distribution channels, regulatory compliance, etc. Partnerships happen; information is exchanged; Chinese companies mine the partnership information for valuable information, including IP.

    What’s unfair about this? Where not legally compelled, this turn of events seems perfectly fair. Perhaps unfavorable to the US, but it’s the product of China’s market leverage.

    I’m reminded that the original purpose of intellectual property systems was not to encourage inventorship, but importation of foreign technologies. The most basic form of “importation” is no longer relevant in the age of the internet, since we can access Japan’s public patent database as easily as they can access ours. But China’s actions seem like the next level in that strategy: “Bring your products to China and build them here, for our population and markets, so that we can learn how you design the technology.”

    Second: What if the U.S. Trade Representative is correct, and China is legally pressuring U.S. companies into partnerships?

    I guess the question becomes: What do we think of governments using the force of law to skew international competition in domestic markets toward domestic companies? Which is… er… a central plank of the economic policy of the current administration? Like this:

    New Trump Order Extends ‘Buy American’ And ‘Hire American’ Rules

    President Trump is trying to put more muscle into his campaign slogan of “Buy American and Hire American” and is preparing to sign an executive order Tuesday aimed at strengthening existing government policies to support domestic products and workers.

    The “Buy American” portion of the executive order calls for stricter enforcement of laws requiring the federal government to buy American-made products when possible. Administration officials complain that those laws have been watered down over the years and often are sidestepped with government waivers.

    Or this:

    Trump threatens German carmakers with 35 percent U.S. import tariff

    Given those policies, Trump’s current actions don’t seem like complaints that China’s use of leverage is illegal – but merely more effective than ours.

    Let’s put that aside and ask what the US should do about this, if we believe it’s occurring and it is problematic. Tariffs and trade wars are economic forms of mutually-assured destruction. What are the alternatives?

    (1) Diplomacy. If China really is engaging in this behavior “across virtually all business sectors,” then it should be easy to amass a wide body of evidence to this effect. Put together a compendium of evidence and bring it to the UN.

    (2) Strategy. Supply and demand is a two-way street – China wants our goods and IP at least as much as we want their business – so we have some counter-leverage here that we’re apparently not using. Create stateside initiatives to explore why China has leverage. Create localized resources that can substitute for the value-add that these Chinese companies provide. Form business networks, including participation by the federal government – and even European trade partners (which may have similar experiences) – to share information and resources about breaking into Chinese markets.

    More options have to be available than lazily lashing out with tariffs. But these options require finesse, deep analysis, patience, and strategic thinking… all of which seem to be in short supply at the Oval Office these days. Shame.

    1. 9.1

      Excellent post, David.

      But you forget one (and one critical to the IP angle):

      Make US patents strong. Make it so that innovators seek to obtain US patents. While (as you point out) the knowledge aspect is not contained within borders, the enforcement (the thing that brings out the “Tr011” boogeyman) is what will draw in innovators into our Sovereign.

      China’s leverage was a large and untapped market (hidden though was that market while huge in size was not economically ready for harvesting. To get to that transition point, China played the same low “Factor cost” game that most all developing nations played.

      THEN they played the JV game, and strategically strengthened their patent system – and untimely as it has been, our Court and captured Congress and captured Executive Branch administrative agency whined about “Tr011s” and drove the once gold standard of patent protection into the dirt.

      There will have to be a certain amount of “reap what you sow,” but the very first thing we need to do is to stop sowing that weak patent system.

      1. 9.1.1

        In general, anon, I agree with you about US patent enforcement – but I don’t see much connection between the strength of our patent system and the “Chinese IP theft” narrative.


          Think of the evolutionary steps during and post-“Pirate” stage.

          The carryover is the lure/protection against established interests who could more readily compete on non-innovation factors.

          A strong patent system lures the vigor of new lifeblood.

          With that new lifeblood comes the secondary effects of innovation to support the initial innovation – truly a virtuous circle.

    2. 9.2

      David, you remind me of that old quote about democracy being the world’s worst system of Government. It was ever thus.

      We in the West put our trust in the 2nd half of the quote, to the effect that all the other systems of Government known to Man are worse. Is that still true?

      And, if so, what should we do? Do all we can to nourish Democracy, not talk it down, or even piss on it? After all, it is as ever, that: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

      1. 9.2.1

        maxdrei, there are plenty of arguments that the U.S. no longer really practices democracy, but rather an aristocracy, in which extreme concentrations of wealth are amassed and then used to maintain and advance the further concentration of wealth.

        The signs are everywhere. We’re seeing extremes of wealth inequality that rival those of the 1920s. Practically every administration has promoted deregulation; increasingly regressive tax policy; the dismantling of antitrust laws, social programs, and unions; and the growing influence of PACs on election results. All feeding the trends noted above.

        An even more stark picture comes into focus when comparing popular views and government action. Americans overwhelmingly support network neutrality, gun control, drug law reform, Planned Parenthood, and government-sponsored healthcare (or at least something like the ACA) – and yet, the government is either stuck in neutral or operating fully in reverse. The disparity between what the voting public wants and what our elected representatives enact is stunning.

        My hope with with the millennials. Time will tell.


          David, your folks claim it was the Russians who stole the 2016 election, not PACs, who by the way turned out to be pretty ineffective.


            First, I don’t know who you consider “my folks.”

            Second, the argument is not that they “stole” the election, since it’s pointless to speculate on the alternative universe where such meddling didn’t occur.

            However, it is beyond doubt that they influenced the election, which is illegal – as demonstrated by the indictments. The extent to which certain U.S. parties cooperated, participated, and benefited from such interference – as well as tried to hide it from the American public – remains to be seen, but it’s already looking like the biggest political scandal in U.S. history.


              Your folks are the folks who keep looking at nothing and seeing collusion.


                Funny that “nothing” has already led to 16 indictments and several guilty pleas. How do you suppose that happens?


          David, my worries go wider than the USA. I worry about trends today in Europe, which is the origin of Democracy and respect for the Rule of Law. Looking in on the USA, from outside, we can see what’s coming in our direction, over the next few years. In short, ever-widening inequality, till the State eventually collapses. It was ever thus, in every civilisation since pre-history.

          See the scholarly book “The Great Leveler” by Scheidel:

          link to theatlantic.com

          Or read Robert Harris’s Cicero trilogy. I see striking parellels with today’s London, UK. Perhaps you will recognise in it something of DC today. And we both know what happened next, when the Roman Empire collapsed

          What to do, to avert the upcoming end of Democracy and the Rule of Law? I have no idea.

          How to survive? Start to learn Mandarin perhaps.


            Regardless of the cause of the weakness of the Western Empire, the reason it ceased to exist was because it was overrun by barbarians. One hammer blow after another.

            Regarding inequality, the Roman Republic was one of the vital institutions of all history; and it was based on inequality of wealth. However, the rich got richer by conquest, and that is what happened — over centuries. This suggests that we have to tie the interests of the rich to the maintenance and security of the state — something that the late Empire did not have. By that time, the rich had every interest in getting rid of the Empire.



              Your view continues to ring hollow.



            Interestingly enough, your article would go hand in hand with Joachim’s writings and the VALUE of a strong patent system with both carrot and stick approaches that you seem to completely disagree with (based on your elevation of Prior User Rights).

            I suggest that you slog through Joachim’s articles (admittedly not an easy task at times) and see how he portrays the patent system as a rather unique “resetting” mechanism. This may provide some insight to you as to why it has been so deleterious that the US patent system has come under attack from multiple angles and the Strong patent right has been made into a weaker one (and then note exactly to whom’s benefit this transformation of the US system has been for).

            Other than that, I would disagree with the conclusion of the article that ONLY catastrophe can serve as a resetting mechanism.

            I “get” why that view may be appealing, but I think that it overplays a Phoenix/Ragnarok/Redemption mythology. The article glosses over the seeds of disparity planted in its portrayal of the mechanism of “resetting” and appears to celebrate things that in themselves were loathful (but appeals to the author’s sense of “what is right”).

            It also does not approach what a true view must approach: natural equilibrium and the plain fact of the matter that the human population is excessively out of equilibrium on any natural sustainability view. It misapplies one of its prongs (the fourth prong) – and does so badly.

            Any treatise that does not address that underlying dynamic is necessarily incomplete.

            All in all, the piece comes across merely as one as disparaging democracy, but not offering anything better in its stead.


              Who is “Joachim”?


                Joachim has been a pretty active poster on this and other blgos for some time now.

                Further, his name (and use thereof) is rather unique.

                I trust that your question then is not asked with any sense of really wanting to know the answer.


          David, my lament about democracy was prompted by your post at #9, but I should have written more, so you could see “where I’m coming from”, namely the democracy called Germany.

          Here in Germany it is taking forever to build an Airport for Berlin. Not so, in authoritarian regimes like China or Turkey. For example, the new Istanbul Airport will soon be ready, built in only 4 years, and with only about 400 construction workers per year perishing in on-site accidents. If even Turkey can manage that, what force on Earth can halt The Middle Kingdom’s aspirations and scruple-free determination to be world leader in science and technology?

          IP rights? Forget it.



            You are revealing more than you think that you may.


          “Americans overwhelmingly support network neutrality, gun control, drug law reform, Planned Parenthood, and government-sponsored healthcare (or at least something like the ACA)”

          Editor, strike “Americans” and substitute “Democrats.”


            No, that’s precisely my point: I mean Americans.

            83% of Americans disagreed with the FCC proposal to end network neutrality. (source)

            63% of Americans support stricter gun control laws, and 60% of Americans believe the NRA has too much political influence. (source)

            64% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. (source)

            78% of Americans support federal funding for Planned Parenthood. (source)

            54% of Americans support the Affordable Care Act (vs. 42% opposed). (source)

            Compare those metrics for what Americans want with what the federal government is pursuing.


              Possibly freed:

              Your comment is awaiting moderation.
              March 10, 2018 at 8:55 am

              Your numbers are hiding spin.

              For example, the issue has never been a blanket federal funding for Planned Parenthood, so your “source” number obfuscates the actual issue as can be seen with minimal digging (emphasis added):

              “Three-quarters of the public support continuing current federal Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood to pay for non-abortion services received by people on Medicaid…”

              I suspect that spin exists in each of the sources you provide.

      2. 9.2.2

        You live in a monarchy Max. One that jails ordinary people for saying they don’t want muslims everywhere in the country killing people they consider infidels.

        To be clear, to the extent that you can even call your country a “democracy” yours is barely even a democracy at all.


          6, Germany is not a monarchy.

          However, I think it is very socialistic in that it favors big companies over startups. I expect that crony capitalism is alive and well there, just as it is in the United States.

    3. 9.3

      David, China has been doing this is far as I can remember. Companies like to move manufacturing to China take advantage of costs – from taxes, safety, environmental to labor. But the Chinese require a domestic partner. As soon as the workforce is up to speed on the technology, the partnership is no longer needed from the Chinese point of view.

      As you correctly pointed out, England first used patents precisely for the same reason as do the Chinese today – to attract to England skilled artisan’s for the purpose of educating English workers in new skills and to provide England with new manufacturing capability. The some extent, the European guilds that had educated the skilled artisan’s might have felt that England was a pirate nation. But in the end, backward England became an economic powerhouse.

      I see nothing wrong with this except with naivety of U. S. companies thinking they can somehow ride the Tiger without being eaten.

      To the extent that that the United States does not want its companies to manufacture in China in the first place, we have to figure out how to level playing field so that companies would like to manufacture in the United States instead of China and still make a profit. Lowering taxes and imposing tariffs on imports are two steps in that direction. But the alternative of an action will result in the continued slow drain of U. S. manufacturing and U. S. manufacturing know-how to China and just about everywhere else but the United States.

      1. 9.3.1

        To the extent that that the United States does not want its companies to manufacture in China in the first place, we have to figure out how to level playing field so that companies would like to manufacture in the United States instead of China and still make a profit.

        To an extent, I disagree – because of comparative advantage.

        Every nation has limited resources: manpower, skill, materials. It benefits each nation to allocate its resources to the tasks in which it has the greatest proficiency (and efficiency) relative to other nations, to allow other nations to do the same in other areas, and to make up the difference in trade.

        Design is hard, and the United States is still ahead in many areas: the iPhone is still the best mobile device in the world, for instance. Yes, other nations are catching up, but we could maintain our specialization and edge by continuing to push the envelope. This is a much better use of our resources than trying to recapture areas that we previously surrendered, like manufacturing – in which we are (a) now far behind and (b) at a major comparative disadvantage.

        The current strain exposes some vulnerability: if trade relations between the U.S. and China degrade, well… China can still make stuff, but we can’t exactly eat our designs. We should be countering this not by picking a fight with China, but by diversifying and strengthening our trade partnerships. If we decide to shift away from Chinese manufacturing – for legal reasons or whatever – we should have trade agreements with 20 other nations that could step in to fill the gap (and that would also prefer to take our business away from China).

        But all of this requires strategic thinking in trade and economics. Again, it’s just in critically short supply at the moment.


          Your “cum-by-yah” is a fallacy David.

          It mirrors the sound of “from each according to their skill, to each according to their need.”


            Er – no, this is a really basic principle of international trade. Literally dates back 200 years and is nearly universally accepted. It’s the climate change of economics… critics exist, but the overwhelming weight of consensus and evidence puts it beyond question.

            The fact that it is poorly understood by many politicians does not make it less valid.


              The principle of international trade is to get the best possible – just on an expanded playing field.

              There is NO such “to each their own” in the sense that you portrayed (the “cum-by-yah” reference).

              You appear to be not able to see past your ideology here.


              another one needing liberation:

              Your comment is awaiting moderation.
              March 10, 2018 at 12:09 pm
              Your choice of words in your reply speak more to the kool-aid that you have been quaffing their David.

              the climate change of economics

              Notice how the Liberal Left moved from Global Warming to Climate Change?

              Notice that no one – ever – denies that climates change? (that is what climate DOES).

              You err here in presupposing that an aspect of a noted difference (that different nations have different resources and different capabilities) turns a descriptive notion into a proscriptive one of what nations must do and then act all out of sorts when that proscription is (rightfully) challenged.

              There is NO “overwhelming weight” of ANY proscriptive effect – you confuse observations of the differences with the lamenting about what to do with differences.


            Er… how so? U.S. corporations gradually chose manufacturing in China provided efficiencies over domestic manufacturing.

            If you mean that U.S. corporations and federal government “stole” the opportunity from blue-collar Americans to work in these jobs, I may agree with you. If you mean that China exerted some form of pressure on U.S. corporations to choose Chinese factories over more economical alternatives – then I’m going to need to see some supporting evidence of that claim.


              Yes, I agree that China had more economical alternatives, and they involved wages 10% of American wages, absence of OHSA, EPA, labor unions, etc.

              The American companies that chose to open Chinese factories while closing American factories at least still held onto a few manager/salesman jobs. Those who did not went bankrupt.


                Silly, China is not unusual. There are many countries trying to get industrial countries to move manufacturing to their lands, offering bribes of all sorts. The problem with China is that it is an enormous country that can use that newfound technological base and the wealth it produces to become a world superpower and threaten the lives and futures of all Americans. This is a problem.

                1. Ned what makes you think that China’s aspirations to be a world superpower “threaten the lives” of “all” Americans? I mean, does the USA as current hegemon currently “threaten the lives” of “all Chinese” just by being a “world superpower”.

                  What’s the difference? What are you seeing, that I am not?

                  Of course, being European, I would rather have a multi-polar than a unipolar world.

                2. Max, ever hear a country called England? They always opposed most powerful rival in Europe in order to protect their own security.

                  Taking a page from history.



                key words: “that chose”

                1. or…. innovate and compete on THOSE factors as opposed to the non-innovation (oh-so-typical) cost factors.

                  That’s kind of the point of having a patent system, after all.

                2. The Chinese did not get all that business by innovating and patenting, anon. They just took existing technology and use cheap labor and ignored environmental protection, worker safety, etc.

                3. My comment was NOT to what the Chinese did, SVG.

                  You are correct that the Chinese did a number of things.

                  However, that point being conceded changes nothing about what we are talking about here.

                  Your comment of “Some choice. Move operations to China or go bankrupt.” is off because the patent system provides a mode of competition that is NOT based on the non-innovation COst factors (that the typical Big Corp Transnational Efficient Infringer would rather compete on).

                  Your being correct on China’s past willingness to self-immolate (as to disregard for environmental factors) and play to its advantages of cheap labor change nothing in regards to how the patent system plays into the equation.

                  You will note as they now emerge with a growing middle class (and losing some of those low Cost Factor advantages) that they are rapidly making their patent system stronger.

                  You should take note of that – and understand why that is happening.


            I agree with David here – the movement was a conscious choice by the juristic persons involved.


          David, elitist theory vs. practical reality. If all nations were alike, and we had a stable international government policing the world, elitist theory could be adopted. People would go and live anywhere in the world without loss of opportunity, security, or rights. They could get jobs, plan for the future, retirement, etc.

          But the real world is not like that, and is not like that at all. We need to husband our critical resources whatever they are. Manufacturing steel and aluminum is a critical resource.


            Even as you would take “elitist” theory and break that down to the people that form the commune – that system simply does not jibe with reality.

            In other words, it is not the matter of the subjects being “elite” that makes that theory not sustainable in the real world.


              anon, agreed.

              Assume a system of worlds where each made something unique and supplied it to all via a system of wormholes. Adam Smith would be happy. But, if the wormholes collapse?


                If the wormholes all collapsed, Lincoln would kill all the vampires and Dr. Who’s Tartis would be 3D printed providing everyone all the access points to support a new system.

                Or not.

                Many more angels on the head of that pin.

    4. 9.4


      Coming to your post from a slightly different angle, part and parcel of the “problem” is that China orchestrated a government/industrial move that largely cannot be (will not be) replicated in the US.

      This is due to the US government being at most a subservient “partner” to the industrial powers. By “subservient,” I mean that the industrial powers are the ones choosing how to influence government action (through such “Might makes Right” as the moneyed voices a la Citizens United).

      See: link to theatlantic.com

      When the corporations are not making the government their lackey, they are going elsewhere (as witness the tax battles of Coke).

      A problem here is that corporations are using their “outsized” “voice$” at the same time that their “citizenship” role is immensely weaker than a real person’s relationship of citizenship and duty.

      We have let the juristic person overpower the real person.

      I do not begrudge that juristic persons should have some legal rights and carry some of the protections that make those legal rights viable.

      But it is a sad mistake to turn a blind eye to the differences between juristic persons and real persons.

      Those differences should be noted and implemented in legal constraints on the reach of juristic persons. In a vey real sense, when we simply let “Might” to make “Rights,” and we lose the sense of the individual person and that person’s actual inalienable rights, we have turned a blind eye to a critical element of the foundation of the great US national “experiment.”

      This too touches on why I have been so adamant on this point of critical formation of this country with Ned.

      As to Ned’s comment here, I agree with the historical perspective of the evolution of countries along a vector that early on, the label of “pirate” was often applicable. I would also directly add that early on, this label was applied to the United States as well!

      This notion first arose from the guilds.

      It is NO mistake that it is those same type of guild entities that today seek to elevate Trade Secrets and denigrate patent systems.

      To a guild, ALL innovation (outside of its immediate control) is a threat.

      Ned alludes to another point that I would like to emphasize:

      Companies like to move manufacturing to China take advantage of costs – from taxes, safety, environmental to labor.

      First, as I touched on already, these “cost factor” decisions are made (typically, albeit not exclusively) by juristic persons – corporations. And these corporations are again (typically) of the Trans-national variety, whom simply feel NO “duty” to any one single country.

      There is to be recognized a critical difference along the vector of duty between a real person and a juristic person.

      This too touches on why Prior User Rights (again – typically something that would be more employed by a juristic person) are fundamentally a B A D thing.

      Second: To the extent that the Liberal Left want to force “ultruism” on American citizens (through at least two different avenues: lack of patent exhaustion that drives the average US citizen to float Big Pharma market entry into other national markets through an outsized cost to individual US citizens, and many of the “Climate Change” mechanisms that penalize MORE SO already industrialized nations while turning a blind eye to “disadvantaged” nations (ostensibly, to let them “catch up”), we allow the turning of perhaps decent Ends into self-defeating Means. All the while that the “enemy that is us” tries to “help the world,” they do so in conjunction with vilifying the very individual entrepreneurial spirit that went hand in hand (even invisible hands, a la Adam Smith) with the notions of inalienable rights and a past view that strong patents were a good thing.

      1. 9.4.1

        You know anon that’s an interesting story in the atlantic, but I note that nobody definitively proved that the guy’s journal was faked or whatever. It’s all just speculation, and a bad citation in a few court decisions (allegedly I haven’t even looked at it).

        Nobody even addresses the fundamental argument that the attorneys were making: that corporations had already long enjoyed the benes of “persons” as it was, and if anything that constitutional change was just a codification.


          As a single story, I would not be expecting any “hard proof” of the kind that you seem to be looking for, 6.

          However, I would not have the takeaway that you have (“it’s all just speculation“).

          I suggest reading the article again. The description is not one of speculation:

          Years later, historians would discover that Conkling’s journal was real but his story was a fraud.” pretty much states this in a NON-speculative assertion.


            ““Years later, historians would discover that Conkling’s journal was real but his story was a fraud.” pretty much states this in a NON-speculative assertion.”

            “historians” totally not anti-capitalistic leftists I’m sure.

            “journalist” that wrote the story totally not an anti-capitalistic leftist I’m sure.

            But yes, I noticed that part as well. They should have dug deeper into that part if it’s so well established, that’s the entire meat and potatoes and dessert of the article, or would be if written by someone half competent. The supposed fraud.


              Again 6, you are trying to hard to make the reading into some type of court case – it’s an article, not a court case.


                ” it’s an article”

                More like propaganda but somewhat true.

                1. No 6, this is not to be confused with propaganda.

                  If you feel strongly about the nature of the items listed, perhaps you can follow up with the authors.

                  As is, I just do not see your “counter points” having much substance. Do you have anything other than feelings as to why you want to challenge any of the statements in the article?

                2. Anon: Herp I can’t see how an article that attacks the very foundations of legal protections for corporations (protections in a thousand ways) as being absurd/a lie is propaganda Derp.

                  Ok bruh. I’m not going to bother to point it out for you, you’ll figure it out eventually. Friendly reminder that there are actual people that want the state to own everything.

                3. No one is saying that a juristic person is one that does not get ANY protections, 6.

                  Try reading what I have stated before you go into the weeds and project what you think that I am saying.

    5. 9.5

      David, you brush away the allegations of Chinese government coercion to share IP. The reports I have heard is that that is a real requirement. Certainly it has been a requirement that you must have a JV in China to do business there.

      Second, Trump’s Buy America campaign to consists of having American taxpayers money go preferentially to Americans, not foreigners. If that is all the Chinese did, no one would object. The rest the Trump effort amounts of proclamations from a bully pulpit, nothing coercive.

      We know enough already and don’t need not stinking new “initiative” or commission to figure out what China has been doing.

      1. 9.5.1

        You brush away the allegations of Chinese government coercion to share IP. The reports I have heard is that that is a real requirement.

        On the contrary – see the second half of post 9 above. If it’s occurring, then much better options are available than unilateral retribution.

        Our options are extraordinarily limited by the isolationist trend. Currently, we are engaging in trade disputes with:

        * Mexico and Canada over NAFTA

        * Canada over lumber imports

        * Germany over auto imports

        * Literally the entire rest of the world over solar panel imports

        * All of the signatories of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam)

        * Literally every nation of the world over the Paris Climate Accord

        Seems that the only nation we’re really improving trade relations with is Russia… by dialing back sanctions that were imposed for political reasons… where such reasons remain legitimate and unaddressed today. That seems odd, doesn’t it?


          I looked back at post 9, and do not see anything that indicates a lack of Chinese coercion.

          The latter half that you point to is simply a discussion of what you think we should do now.


            I’m not entirely sure what you want here.

            I don’t have firsthand knowledge of whether any such coercion is occurring. I suspect you don’t either, given your reference to “reports you’ve heard.” So I am not in a good position to speculate on whether or not it’s occurring. I’ve neither “brushed off” such evidence nor accepted it – I’ve expressed no opinion at all here.

            What I can do is to speculate about how each scenario (illegal coercion vs. no illegal coercion) could be addressed. Not coincidentally, that’s what I’ve done above. I don’t understand why you find this approach problematic.


              I don’t argue that it was illegal coercion. But it was coercion under the color of Chinese law, which is unique to China.


                Your view of “coercion” then does not support your umbrage.


          David, the fact of disputes does not mean that we are in the wrong. What is different is that we are now, for a change, focused on American interests rather than the interests of the international elites.


            Is that so? Then here’s an idea: let’s focus 100% of our economy on “American interests” and completely withdraw from all international trade. Americans are only legally permitted to trade with other Americans… The End.

            There will be no more “international elites” in America because the entire nation will be impoverished.


              No body is arguing for withdrawal from international trade. Quit throwing out fictitious straw men (or women or transgenders).

              The issue is international trade agreements that disfavor US manufacturers. If Trump has to play hardball to negotiate better terms for Americans, we should all applaud his gutsiness instead of RESIST.


                I absolutely agree with you here Silicone Valley Girl – we should avoid all of the Trans-National style of “capture” that has plagued both the Executive and the Legislative branches of the government and focus first and foremost on what benefits THIS country.


                ps – see my posts at 12 and 9.4 that bear on your concerns.


            Who exactly is an international elite?

            Are you including juristic persons in that group?

    6. 9.6

      Who do you believe? Communist China’s public statements, or the detailed USTR’s report. Read the Report. If you’re a patriot.

  5. 8

    Is this related to the President’s current ranting about Europe, to wit, that it is treating the USA “very unfairly”?

    Am I to understand that, the way the President sees it, something has to be done around the world, about levels of respect for the USA, which he sees as having fallen already, to levels no longer acceptable?

    1. 8.1

      Bizarre question and forced segue into non-IP rants.

    2. 8.2

      I don’t think Trump cares about the respect we (the US) gets. He’s concerned about trading differences/deficits between the US and other countries. Unfortunately, his policies will likely make this worse and cost jobs, but hey his base will be happy.

  6. 7

    A hypothetical priority chain:

    A is grand-grand-grand-grand parent application (by inventors SAM AND AMED)

    B is DIV of A (by inventors SAM AND AMED)

    C is CON of B (by inventors SAM AND AMED)

    D is CON IN PART of C (by inventors SAM AND AMED)

    E is CON IN PART of D (by inventors SAM AND AMED AND SUSAN)

    A present hypothetical application F claims to be a CON IN PART of E (and is by inventors NIGEL AND JAMAL)

    Can anyone around these here parts explain to me what possible purpose there could be to claiming this priority chain? Is it even possible, without changing the inventors on at least some of this, for them to get priority back through this chain at all for the last app in the chain?

    1. 7.1

      The possible purpose (and there is one) is defeated by the app F having NO common inventorship with any parent. At least one is necessary to be able to claim a CIP.

      The possible purpose of course is the same purpose as any proper claim to priority.

      1. 7.1.1

        That’s what I thought as well.

  7. 6

    Herr T wittler is the patron saint of the patent maximalists, at least in terms of his “methods” (i.e., spew endless streams of nonsensical hypocritical bull shert (“more patents is freedom!”), recite some vapid whining jingoistic cr @p (“America is losing because not enough patents!”), and go after the usual enemies of Repu k k k es and glibertarians (“anti-patent ivory towerists and commies want to take us back to the iron age”).

    That’s not even getting into all the bizarro world g@ rbage (“patent law shouldn’t be about politics so ” <-lol) ("101 is a WITCH HUNT and if you disagree with me you are the T rump of this comment section" <— recognize this person? LOL) ("stop picking on greedy wealthy people, you classist!" <– ROTFLMAO).

    Ah, the poor embittered Rep uk k kes. Nowhere to go but down. Dinosaurs do die but, gosh, all that screaming at the sky. Where'd my earplugs go?

    1. 6.1

      “spew endless streams of nonsensical hypocritical bull shert”

      Yep. The Trump of the comment boards has arrived.

      1. 6.1.1

      2. 6.1.2

        The Trump of the comment boards has arrived.

        And the proof (as if any more was needed) is published within five minutes.


        And “anon” with the high five.

        Very serious people.

        Unfortunately every thing I wrote about the maximalists and their ideological relationship to the Re pu k k ke /glibs is absolutely true. Also well documented and predictable.

        And that’s going drag you guys down, which is also well-known and predictable. And you’re going to cry about it. And you’re going to try to deny even though the evidence is plain (and archived).

        Funny people.


          Yay one-bucketing !

          (because anyone thinking patents are good must be “one of them;” no matter what the “many” clients of Malcolm, who want such things, and supposedly the things that Malcolm creates, are somehow exceptions… Sure. No cause of massive cognitive dissonance there )


            I don’t have a problem with “patents”, “anon.”

            This is why nobody will ever take you or Big Jeans or any of your sad Repu k k ke /glib cohorts seriously. You’re cl 0wns with the rhetorical and legal skills of three year olds.


              What IS it with you and your 0bsess10n with Quinn?


                What IS it with you and your 0bsess10n with Quinn?

                Not obsessed. Just love watching big jurks fall.

                1. Is that why you fall so much here?

                  And it is an 0bsession as Quinn has nothing to do with the topics under discussion, but you are the single person who brings him up on a relentless basis. It’s as if you cannot get him out of your mind.


          Are they funny people or very serious people… What is that even supposed to mean Minnie?


            Are they funny people or very serious people

            First was sarcasm, of course. Second was an honest expression of bafflement that anybody could be so ridiculous and somehow believe that should be taken seriously.

            I mean at least recognize that you are getting wiped out. And that it’s not going to change.

            Oh right: not in your script. Proceed with labeling me (a patent attorney who has never wanted for work and who has studiously avoided ineligible cr @p since forever because the stench is too much to bear) as someone who “doesn’t like patents.” Go ahead! It’s worked so well for you guys all these years. Right up there with the accusations that I “don’t know anything about the tech” (LOL) or that I “don’t know anything about the law” (except when I write it and it ends up in the Supreme Court opinion LOLOLOLOL).

            This is all well documented “BGuy”. And archived. Why did I archive it? Because I realized what kind of people I was dealing with.


              honest expression of bafflement that anybody could be so ridiculous and somehow believe that should be taken seriously.

              There is not an honest bone in your body.

              The Accuse Others meme is just stultifying.


              “I mean at least recognize that you are getting wiped out.”

              Is it genocide?


              “At least recognize that you are getting wiped out”

              In 2005 , pre-EBay, would the same advise be given to those that felt the prior 30 years of strong patent rights were “too strong”?

              No, they fought to change the rules, as was their right.

              Correspondingly, it is absolutely the right of those that feel the current laws for patent protection are “too weak” to fight to change said rules.

              Assuming in our system that, “anything this is today, will be tomorrow”, is not only shortsighted, but almost always incorrect in the long term.

    2. 6.2

      MM, its been a long time since I have heard any Democrat say anything on national policy. It is all about identity politics or bigotry against caricatures of the other party and its politicians. Not only is wearing, the is ugly. It is sad to see a party descend so low.

      There is reason people have stopped watching ESPN or the Oscars.

      1. 6.2.1

        ESPN is a bunch of Democrats?

  8. 5

    Then abolish the PTAB.

  9. 4


    This sounds more like a USTR issue, not something that is going on in America. MS-13 is not stealing inventions, infringing copyrights or using someone else’s trade secrets or trademarks.

    Now, if he were to say something about efficient infringement….

    1. 4.1

      “MS-13 is not stealing inventions”

      I saw some MS-13 gang members hanging around outside of Madison the other day. Security shooed them off, for now.

  10. 3

    How will MM spin this one?

    Protecting IP rights is white privilege?

    1. 3.1

      It wouldn’t be too far off in saying that current international intellectual property protection regimes are a form of intellectual colonialism.

      1. 3.1.1

        Colonialism of non-white minds? Especially women? And the disabled?

    2. 3.2

      Gary, he could comment that billionaires like T make employees, consulting “actresses,” and the like, IP slaves.

      1. 3.2.1

        …because freedom to contract is slavery…?


          Freedom is illusion. Bargaining position, like location, is all.


            Bargaining position certainly is important.

            The freedom to say no to the deal and walk away is always a huge source of bargaining power.

  11. 2

    But, he meets with Broadcom’s anti-patent CEO who is trying to buy Qualcomm and destroy their patent licensing group?

  12. 1

    …talk about mindless ad hominem…

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