Admittedly, patent reform is not a sexy topic. Those passionate about it are lab geeks, computer nerds, inventors, academics, attorneys and IP bloggers – not exactly the glitterati. But if it passes the hurdle of a full Senate vote, it will hurt – entrepreneurs, inventors and the economy.
Perhaps this lack of charisma is why the debate over patent reform has not been played out in the public arena. It’s a little esoteric for the layman, I’ll grant you that. Or has it been intentionally whisked along, fast-tracked as much as the legislative process can be, in the shadows of more popular issues such as health-care reform and climate change?
And where are the pundits? Do we take their silence as complicity? I hesitate to believe that Limbaugh, Stewart, Carville, Begala, Stephanopoulos – even Colbert – are of one mind on this issue. They’re banging on about health care and climate change – much sexier issues – much easier to find an eye-catching graphic to place strategically by the talking head – but where is the discussion around proposed legislation that will weaken the US Patent System irretrievably.
True, the tattered edge of a patent application isn’t as evocative as the image of a sick child or a baby seal stranded on a floating slab of melted polar ice cap. But still, the loud voices on the left and right should sally forth and mention this critical issue to heat up a little widespread debate before this critical piece of legislation passes gently one good night while no one is watching.
If the pundits aren’t interested – which they appear not to be – perhaps opponents to patent reform need a pop-culture spokesperson. Let’s start at the top – quick, someone call Brad and Angie – maybe they’ll adopt all of us and help us battle back S. 515. No? How about Clooney then? He got excited about Darfur when no one else was – maybe he’ll take pity on our cause too. Doubtful.
At this point, I might settle for the rambling musings of Lindsay Lohan or the dimming wattage of celebrity known as Jessica Simpson to drum up some attention to the cause. Perhaps PETA would loan us Pam Anderson to pose in the buff under a banner reading “I’d Rather Go Naked than Support Expanded Inter Partes Reexamination.”
Come on folks – this is America! We’ve got pundits willing to rant about anything, so what is it going to take to get them to crank up the volume about patent reform before it’s too late and our patent system is crippled even further and takes our marginally recovering economy with it?
Glenn Beck – you’re an idiot if you don’t talk about patent reform!
Are you there John Stewart? It’s me, patent reform.
FOX News – if you don’t report, we can’t decide.
Rachel Maddow – talk me down from this one.
Before we allow this special interest influenced, big-business slanted piece of ill-conceived legislation to waltz its way into law unchecked, can we at least talk about it? Otherwise, as patent attorney John Connors so aptly phrased it, it will “turn commercializing an invention into a sport of kings.”
Today’s tongue-in-cheek post is by Guest Barista Rachel Stamper, Senior Writer/Editor, IPAdvocate.org.