« Insect Screen | Main | Brass in Pocket »

November 24, 2008


Reed Hundt, former elementary school principal, was FCC chairman in the Clinton administration. In 2006, he wrote a genuinely stupid opinion piece in Forbes disparaging the U.S. patent system, suggesting arbitrarily slashing patent grants by 90%, and other lunacy. Empirical proof, for the upteenth time, that a Yale graduate can be as smart as a chewed wad of gum stuck under a student's desk. Hundt is now helping President-elect Obama as a transition team leader. No indication that Hundt will have anything to do with patents. So maybe let's give the guy a break.

Hat tip to Peter Zura for starting this tempest in a tea pot.

Posted by Patent Hawk at November 24, 2008 12:11 AM | The Patent System


Hawk, perhaps not as much stupid as shockingly ignorant? Example: "We have a daunting litigation risk" is his reason to write of the present system "Let's get rid of it". That's not very patriotic, is it? A "strong" patent system is what makes America strong, right? I thought that the daunting risk was what characterized the present US system over everybody else's, and made everybody else's system relatively "weak". But perhaps Mr Hundt (German name?) has seen how dauntingly fast valid patents can be enforced in Germany and the UK.

Posted by: MaxDrei at November 24, 2008 12:43 AM

Change is coming, 1/20/09.

Being my own lexicographer, I define change as "moving out the Bush I retreads and moving in the Clinton retreads."

Posted by: Change! at November 24, 2008 1:11 PM

We definitely need some change in the patent system, but it's not broken beyond repair and in need of being trashed. We have a strong patent system in place, it just can't handle the volume pumped through it to properly check the patent claims themselves, resulting in all the litigation. And the litigation itself offers our checks & balances. Better review and stronger patents coming out of the PTO will stop the litigation (in a decade or two once our current mess of patents clears up).

Posted by: Craig at November 25, 2008 1:37 PM