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February 23, 2008

Follow the Money

If you wonder why, for the Patent Reform Act, Senator Leahy is so hot to trot, it's that he got paid and bought. Of the $2.4 million packed into Leahy's political piggy bank in the past five years, $3/4 million came from "lawyers and lobbyists;" not surprising, given that Leahy is Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. Second place in pork placement was the computer-related sector, approaching $1/2 million. Third place is under $200,000. Heavyweights in digital technologies, including communications companies, which are totally digital too, are the pushers for so-called "patent reform."

Posted by Patent Hawk at February 23, 2008 1:02 AM | The Patent System


Gee, a measly 2.4 mil is enough to f*** all small inventors in this country, to devastate biotech industry, to put an end to pharmacetical research etc. etc. etc. etc.

How come small crooks in US Congress are allowed to f*** up the future of this country ?
Shouldn't they be wearing stripes already ?

Posted by: angry dude at February 23, 2008 8:18 AM

Angry dude, you may be plenty angry, but I believe I am the angriest dude in the U.S. right now. These people should be dragged out, tarred and feathered, and thrown off Key Bridge (along with Dudass, Doll, Peterlin, Pincos, ect ect ect).

Posted by: john at February 23, 2008 4:35 PM

It's worth considering the data a little more carefully before impugning Senator Leahy's motives. "Lawyers and lobbyists" constitutes the biggest category of campaign donors in general; that this is also true in this specific case is just par for the course. Also, for example, it is the category I am listed under, even though I have never urged someone to whom I donated to pursue the "patent reform" agenda. Are there more or fewer lawyers with a deep interest in cheesy "patent reform" as opposed to wise patent policy? I'm not sure.

As for the second one, IBM happens to play a strong role in the Vermont economy and provides a large portion of the high-paying jobs in Vermont. It only makes sense that there's an intersection between higher-paying, better-educated people and the type of people who donate at least $200 to a single candidate and get listed by the FEC under one of these categories.

This information looks about par for the course. I don't see any compelling rationale for reading any particular influence-wielding into it.

Posted by: Bryan at February 23, 2008 5:58 PM

Bryan, thanks for your comment; nice foil. Get real. PRA 2007 is the juice from the pickle of the Coalition for Patent Fairness. If Leahy was legit, he'd drop the damages provision, venue sphinctering, interlocutory appeals, and other provisions that maximize litigation cost and minimize infringement cost. If, and it's a big if, Leahy's shill shtick is pure pacification: knowing the Act as drafted has too much poison to become law, and he doesn't draw it out, then Leahy has one slick weasel wolf whistle to keep his benefactors happy without pulling down the tent poles on patent protection. Hopefully that's the case. Hustling as a long con is a large part of what Congress is all about; it's a dirty job, but they are determined to do it. If Leahy really thinks he's got decent legislation, then at best he's been hoodwinked by his hired hacks who hid testimony and submissions about what a sorry sack the bill really is. The Congressional report on public input was, ahem, selective; i.e., rigged for the patent throat-slitting ship to sail. If Leahy really knows the score and is sincere about the bill as is, he's senile.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at February 23, 2008 8:05 PM