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New GIPC International IP Index Shows Improvements for US, Need for Further Action

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | February 15, 2019

Last Thursday I attended the release reception for the 2019 edition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s International IP Index, which is produced by the Chamber’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC). The Pugatch Concilium does the research and writes the report, under the direction of my friend, Meir Pugatch. It was great to see Meir again after several years.

The Index is an attempt to rank 50 countries based on their IP systems, under the assumption that stronger IP protections are positive for encouraging innovation and investment in a country. Many studies have demonstrated that higher levels of IP protection correspond with higher levels of foreign direct investment and the resultant economic growth, and the Index also contains some of that data.

The Index also contains a section talking about general international IP trends, which in general are not good. While some developing countries are seizing the advantage of stronger IP protection (India, Brazil, Argentina), many countries are undermining IP protection (Chile, Colombia, Peru, Russia).

In the US, which has been slipping in the rankings because of some unfortunate Supreme Court decisions and the PTAB process at the Patent Office that has been cynically abused to invalidate patents, things have turned back up. The new USMCA trade agreement (as yet not adopted or implemented) increases IP protection, but the major fact that lifted the US from 12th place to 2nd place in the patents ranking is the change at the top of the U.S. Patent Office. New Director of the Patent Office Andrei Iancu has implemented significant, pro-patent procedures throughout the Office but especially in the PTAB process, which has restored the process to something approaching its original intent, instead of the abusive way it operated under the previous USPTO regime.

The problem with such improvements, of course, is that they are easily undone by a future administration, which means we still need legislation like the Stronger Patents Act to use the force of law to either eliminate the PTAB process, or lock-in the higher standards imposed by Director Iancu. Such legislation should reverse some of the recent Supreme Court patent decisions as well. Read More >>

Trump's Stock Market Fears Fuel U.S.-China Trade Talk Progress

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | January 14, 2019

After meeting with U.S. officials in Beijing this week, China is in turn expected to send delegates to Washington for continued trade talks.

IPI’s Dr. Merrill Matthews joined a panel on CGTN’s The Heat to discuss whether these meetings are laying hopes for a resolution on trade. Read More >>

Migrant Caravan and Military at the Border

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | November 19, 2018

Farmers Feel Pinch from U.S.-China Trade War

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | November 2, 2018

U.S. Consumers Continue to Lose in Escalating China Trade War

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | September 25, 2018

Amid rising tensions in U.S.-China trade, IPI resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews joined CGTN America’s The Heat where he noted that China’s retaliatory tariffs are indeed highly targeted toward likely supporters of President Trump, while the U.S.-imposed tariffs are hammering all American consumers and the opposite of “draining the swamp.” Read More >>

FCC Should Hold the Line on Local Franchise Taxes & Fees

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments | September 24, 2018

Ronald Reagan was fond of reminding us of a fundamental economic truth: “If you want less of something, tax it.”

Of course, President Reagan wasn’t referring to broadband infrastructure at the time.  But his observation is no less true in today’s digital economy.  In fact, since the earliest days of the commercial internet back in the ‘90s, a bipartisan consensus in Congress has recognized the universal truth of President Reagan’s warning and worked to ensure that local taxes and fees didn’t become an impediment to the build-out of our national broadband infrastructure.

Congress enshrined this prohibition against local taxes on broadband in the bipartisan Internet Tax Freedom Act.  Similarly, the Cable Act provides a national framework that encourages network deployment by limiting the power of local governments to impose investment-killing fees.

The success of this light-touch framework is self-evident.  Since 1996, broadband providers have invested $1.6 trillion to build out our nation’s broadband infrastructure, deploying high-speed networks at a pace that far exceeds what European countries have managed.  And while there are clearly deployment gaps still to be closed – particularly in rural America – the urgent necessity of closing these gaps argues even more strenuously for continuing to heed President Reagan’s warning.

But as sure as the sun rises in the East, there will always be high-tax local jurisdictions eager to treat private sector investments as their own personal piggy bank to be raided to fund big-spending government budgets.  Despite the obvious historic success of the federal prohibition on internet taxes and fees – and despite the fact that world-class broadband infrastructure is increasingly become table stakes for any local community that hopes to thrive in the digital age – some localities have challenged the bipartisan pro-investment consensus in court.

Faced with these legal challenges, the FCC is about to kick off a proceeding to clarify its policies limiting how local jurisdictions can use local franchising laws to impose taxes and fees on broadband providers.  We strongly urge Commissioners to defend the longstanding, bipartisan consensus pre-empting state and local efforts to add new fees or obstacles to broadband investment.

Make no mistake about it:  The internet is an interstate service.  Networks – and the packet of data that fly across them at the speed of light – don’t stop at state lines.  If ever a technology existed that met the Constitutional definition of “interstate commerce”, it’s the internet.  That means it’s up to federal policymakers to defend the (wildly successful) national pro-deployment framework against attacks from local jurisdictions more interested in grabbing a few short-term bucks.

As a nation, we want more broadband investment.  It’s one of the few things Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on.  So the FCC should remember President Reagan’s wise advice and preempt local governments from adding taxes and fees that will discourage the very investment we all agree is needed. Read More >>

China Should Step Up IP Enforcement, Call Trump's Bluff on Tariffs

Posted by Merrill Matthews | Comments | September 12, 2018

Defense Bill Includes Reforms on Foreign Investment in the U.S.

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | August 14, 2018

U.S. Sanctions Against China May Increase Trade Deficit

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | August 6, 2018

In his latest interview with CGTN-America TV’s The Heat, IPI’s Dr. Merrill Matthews addressed tensions between the U.S. and Iran, as well as U.S.-China trade relations. Click here to watch the full discussion. Read More >>

Imposing Tariffs on All Chinese Imports Could Lead to Chaos

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | July 24, 2018

President Donald Trump said that he’s prepared to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports to the U.S., amounting to $500 billion worth of goods. In a panel on CGTN America, IPI’s Dr. Merrill Matthews conceded that such a move could lead to chaos. Read More >>

Giovanetti on Criminal Justice Reform, Nonviolent Drug Crime Commutations

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | June 6, 2018

Matthews Talks China Militarization of South China Sea, North Korean Denuclearization

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | June 6, 2018

Retired Teacher, Criticizing White House Letter, Gets a Big Fat F

Posted by Merrill Matthews | Comments | May 29, 2018

Giovanetti Talks Title II, Wayfair Case on Point of View

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | May 22, 2018

U.S.-China Trade, Plan B for the Iran Deal, Violence in Gaza

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments | May 16, 2018

 

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