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Letter from Unions Opposing Patent Reform Act of 2007.

Posted in General Commentary, Statute Commentary by Jake Ward on February 7, 2008

Over a dozen labor unions sent a letter yesterday to members of the U.S. Senate urging opposition to the Patent Reform Act of 2007 in its current form.  The letter expresses a deep concern over the likelihood that the Patent Reform Act of 2007 will undermine U.S. competitiveness.  See a copy of the letter here:  Fax from Unions on Patent Reform 2007.

The letter also highlighted a recent article written by Yongshun Cheng, a former Chinese judge in the high court of Beijing.  Judge Cheng runs a non-profit organization dealing with intellectual property issues and has stated the following regarding S. 1145/H.R. 1908:

[I]n general the bill favors infringers and burdens patentees more.  It is not bad news for developing countries which have lower technological development and relatively fewer patents.  Due to the weak foundation of patents, the Chinese products often encounter trouble in the U.S. market. This bill will provide more mechanisms and flexibilities in making patent challenge strategies, and also lower the cost of infringement, therefore the infringement will become easier. . . .

The letter was signed by the following unions:

  • Building & Construction Trades Department (BCTD), AFL-CIO
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA)
  • Department for Professional Employees (DPE), AFL-CIO
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)
  • International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers (IBB)
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
  • International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)
  • Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO
  • Patent Office Professional Association (POPA)
  • United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA)
  • United Steelworkers (USW)

Hat tip to the Patent Prospector.