by Dennis Crouch
In recent remarks at the 10M patent ceremony, Rep. D. Issa discussed a White House trade meeting focusing on problems caused by weak enforcement of patents in Canada. For Issa, this is emblematic of a global problem with the U.S. patent system.
Just today we had a number of people at the White House [discussing trade disputes] . . . They went over in detail what the courts, for example, for years in Canada did to us. They decided that if you didn’t tell people how important your patent was, with specificity, they would just invalidate your patent. [FB Live Link]
The statement is interesting on many levels — including the ongoing role of intellectual property as an aspect of any trade dispute. In the same way that countries can raise tariffs on foreign goods, they can also shift the treatment of foreign patent applicants by raising costs or by setting quotas. While the US has long been a champion of lowering international barriers to patenting, it has also long been a champion of free trade. For a trade battle, these tools are likely all on the table and so we may see rocky times ahead for the international patent system.