- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ronald Reagan’s former attorney general Edwin Meese has joined a growing number of conservatives urging Congress not to pass proposed legislation changing America’s patent system.

A new letter currently being circulated among conservative leaders urges Congress not to pass new patent legislation that many see as a quick “fix” from Washington that would effectively overhaul the way patent cases are litigated. 

“Strong patent protections have set the United States apart from nations like China and India, among others, and have been critical to the creation of wealth and jobs and to the U.S.’ role in the world,” the Conservative Action Project’s letter reads. 

“For that reason, Conservatives should be wary when elected officials start talking about reforming the patent system. Certainly, some targeted changes may be warranted on occasion, but, as we have seen time and again, the leadership in Washington thinks every problem, large or small needs ‘comprehensive’ reform and overhaul. Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are just a couple of example,” the letter reads. 

There are currently two patent reform bills circulating in the House and the Senate, The Innovation Act and PATENT Act, respectively. 

Supports of the legislation say it will update intellectual property laws to reign in “patent trolls” — mostly shell companies that buy up vague patents with the intent of suing other companies for infringement.

Opponents of the bills say they impose overreaching standards that patent litigation that would make it hard for small innovators to protect their property rights. They argue the legislation favors major tech companies like Google and Apple. 

Congress passed a patent reform act in 2011 — the America Invents Act — and in recent years the courts have issued multiple rulings that have addresses many of the problems innovators face in dealing with patent trolls. 

In their letter, conservative leaders — including David McIntosh of the Club for Growth, Former Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell — called on Congress to hold off on more sweeping reforms and give the 2011 reforms time to take effect. 

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