Obama’s Gift of Green Joblessness


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Some 7,752,677 patents have been issued to inventors and university researchers since the federal patent office was founded in 1790. Like a few other federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission, USPTO is self-financed. To file for a patent, the normal charge is $1,000. Patents, and licensing fees they may generate, eventually can be worth millions or even billions of dollars. Congress doesn’t let the USPTO keep the revenue it takes in. It diverts $200 million a year to other federal spending, somewhat the way it robs the Social Security Trust Fund each year.

August 10, President Obama signed into law a bill giving the Patent Office authority to spend an added $129 million of the fees the agency will collect in 2010. The agency figures it will collect nearly $200 million more than its fiscal year 2010 money of $1.8 billion. Following the signing, Kappos said, “This additional funding will allow us to continue the progress we’ve made in improving the USPTO and the patent process so that patents can be issued more quickly, investment in technology and new products will be accelerated and much-needed jobs will be created.”

Meanwhile, a bipartisan bill to make a sweeping overhaul of the under funded USPTO is bogged down in Congress, even though it could potentially help to create untold numbers of jobs. A CNNMoney.com story in June explained the biggest change in the pending legislation would change it from a ‘first-to-file’ system, from a ‘first-to-invent’ system. We are the only major nation that awards patents only to those who can prove they invented something before someone else’s patent was filed. So, the U.S. patent system is rife with legal suits while courts try to sort out who created an invention first. The bill also would let the patent office set its own fees. Businesses and intellectual property attorneys are eager to see Congress act.

The Center for American Progress is probably Washington’s most influential idea factory for the Obama Administration. It is funded largely by the deep-pocket billionaire George Soros, left-wing head of Move-on.org. The Center’s president and CEO is John Podesta. He was chief of staff to Bill Clinton and headed the transition team when President Obama took office. CAP was created in 2003 as a left-tilted alternative to Washington’s conservative think tanks.

A sister advocacy organization to CAP is the American Progress Action Fund, which shares the same address and some of the same staff with CAP. CAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The fund is a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization . In 2003, George Soros was said to donate $3 million to the fund. Soros, in the minds of many, is beyond radical. He established the Open Society Institute in 1979 which serves his foundations that donate millions of dollars: to promote the view that America is an oppressive nation, to oppose national security measures, to depict U.S. military actions as immoral, to promote amnesty for illegal aliens, to promote unilateral disarmament, to bring our foreign policy under the UN, and to legalize marijuana.

A study done for the Center for American Progress in June 2009 on how the stimulus package and energy tax legislation could purportedly boost growth and employment and create 2 million new jobs fell pitifully short of the over-promised mark. The study was done by the Department of Economics and Political Economy m Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The report proposed $50 billion in tax credits for energy efficient retrofits and renewable energy systems, among other spending.

In November 2009, as part of the green Tech Pilot Program the patent office announced it would give expedited treatment to the first 3,000 pending “green tech” applications that meet procedural requirements. By April 20, 2010, PTO had accelerated less than 300 applications, suggesting the program would be extended. PTO at end of March issued a report that it had 900 requests for acceleration and granted one-third, denying most of the others. An application had to fall within one of 89 classifications in four categories: alternative energy production, energy conservation, environmentally farming, or environmental purification, protection, or remediation., according to Goodwin Proctor, a prominent international law firm.

Now, with the more liberal rules at the USPTO for environmental-friendly inventions, we should be greener and greener.

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  • Lary9

    ~quoted~ "The serious danger in giving priority to environmental innovations ahead of all others is the probability of delay in processing applications for patents on crucial, life-saving biotechnological developments…"

    Just a "probability"? I take it then you're speculating based on stastistical hunches. Furthermore, your criticism of the Patent Office and its partner, CAP, offers claims and opinions based upon probabilities and is thin on facts and context.
    In the words of Clark Kent to Jimmy Olson…"I'm afraid it's re-write time, Jimmy." I've heard that voice 1,000 times. Still I confess I liked your writing and the article vectors well and definitely has fastball 'mojo' on it. Fact check the hunches.

  • Evan Williams

    How about no favoritism at all? No more top-down, Soviet style, command and control of every damn thing?

    First come, first served is FAIR, period.

    • Morrismajor

      I don't think they even had a patent office in the USSR

  • WilliamJamesWard

    First come first served, if that is not the rule then government
    is clearly biased as prejudices in processing applications
    favoring one citizen over another destroys equality and
    the act itself becomes patently unfair…………..Take a number
    and get on line, no other consideration should enter
    therein………………………………………………………..William

  • http://snowboardsreviews.com angeluisa

    Great! Everything must be equal. Looking forward to that.

  • Jim Johnson

    Patents or no where are the jobs even the green jobs. Here in Vegas you can't go more than 5 or ten blocks before you see a row of red cones all set up as if a shovel ready job were in progress. What's missing are the workers. No workers in the hot day but then the usual night time work lights and stands are missing also.
    Some of the projects started over four years ago and finished last year still have the red cones up as if they were still in progress.

  • Morrismajor

    This article is rubbish. So if there is a backlog at the patent office, hire some more workers and fix it. Don't blame the enviros! He must blame them for his hemorrhoids too..

  • Max Gershom

    Well, everything may be relative in West Virginia, but everywhere else, there is Truth. And the Truth is never relative.