“to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”Section 18 allows the USPTO to withdraw or void a patent, without due process, even if a high federal court has examined the patent, confirmed it, and ordered transgressors to pay the patent-holder damages for unlicensed use of the intellectual property.The second difficulty is the separation of powers issue (noted above) raised by allowing the executive branch to overrule the judicial branch. Section 18 does not simply allow for the possibility of violation of the separation of powers, it requires it in every case. The USPTO cannot consider a challenge to withdraw or void a patent unless that patent has already been challenged in court.Violation of property rights, absence of due process, and violation of separation of powers is non-trivial in my world.Politics is no predictorCuriously enough, politics is no predictor of the position a given member of Congress is likely to take on Section 18. Obama and Reid are for it, but Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and uberliberal Maxine Waters are against it. The best predictor of a politician's position on this issue is to look at campaign contributions. You can figure that one out.
Unexpectedly, even Rep. Maxine Waters says Section 18 "is just wrong."Since we know that politics is no predictor on this issue, there's nothing for it but for us to contact all our Senators and insist they they help Sen. Tom Coburn keep a hold on the bill until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agrees to allow the bill onto the Senate floor in an amendable form. Then insist that the bill be considered in the full light of day, with full public disclosure, before passage.Action Center AvailableMy good friends at TEAPAC - the Pasadena Patriots in CA have taken the lead on this issue. They've erected a web site called jobsNOTbanks.com which contains on online petition you can sign and an online Action Center with a sample letter to help you contact your Senator.If you are a new media/social media type or a blogger, there's help for you there, too.Action NowIf we follow our normal drill of waiting until the Senate has been back in session for a couple of days before we check in on what they are doing, we'll have already lost this battle, and that's exactly the way Senator Harry Reid has planned it.Spread the WordThe jobsNOTbanks.com Action Center also has tools to help you spread the word to your friends and this part is important: We only have 12 days to get the word out and get this travesty in the Senate stopped. We'll have to overcome the natural inertia activists usually feel when Congress is allegedly on vacation.If we fail to slap ourselves out of our August angst for activism now, we'll see more jobs disappear, far less investment in new jobs, and a Congress that feels safe in confiscating still more of our rights in order to reward still more big campaign contributors.Join us.Crossposted to save jobs and protect private property rights*Disclosure: I hold provisional patents, although not in the electronic payment processing industry. I have been active in the payment processing industry, processing payments for more than 10,000 merchants for over 15 years. I believe strongly in the value of intellectual property and the property rights of inventors, artists and creators to enjoy the fruits of their creations.