Last week the Trends Journal detailed some of the ways Big Tech corporations have propagated their monopolies, in areas including social media, cloud storage and website services, e-commerce, advertising communication, and app development sales and distribution. (See “HOW BIG TECH MAINTAINS ITS MONOPOLY,” 17 August 2021)
A new guest column by Ken Blackwell at the Townhall website provides more details, specifically concerning how tech corporations have manipulated patent laws and initiatives.
Blackwell, a former Ohio Secretary of State, State Treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati, is currently a Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment with The Family Research Council.
In his column, Blackwell noted that under the guise of “patent reform,” big tech lobbyists have consistently pushed for patent law changes that have hurt innovators, and allowed corporations to swallow start-ups on the cheap, and co-opt and even steal technologies, with little risk.
Large tech firms spearheaded the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011. The legislation increased hurdles for patent holders to get an injunction against a business that was stealing their inventions.
It also established the Patent and Trial Appeals Board (PTAB), which has come to be known as the “patent death squad,” for its record of rejecting 80-percent of patent rights claims.
The net effect? Inventors without deep pockets have almost no chance of prevailing in protecting their rights, and corporations can acquire innovations and snuff-out competition for bargain basement prices:
“Big companies, particularly big tech, can simply use the patented ideas of others knowing that they will likely get away with it. Even if caught, by the time the process plays out they can simply write a check to a patent holder and have been able to use their technology for years without consequence.”
Judge Paul Michel, former chief judge of the top Federal patent court, has talked about the severe imbalance of power and lack of legal protections that have allowed tech corporations to run roughshod over small start-ups.
Michel pointed out, “powerful tech companies have long relied on a strategy of deliberate infringement because enforcement litigation is too expensive for younger smaller competitors.”
Blackwell’s column also mentioned how tech companies have lobbied against the STRONGER Patents Act. The bi-partisan legislation has proposed changes to PTAB, and would restore injunctions and protections for property and inventors.
Ken Blackwell’s column can be read here.