H.R. 5980- ‘Bring Jobs Back to America’- Will India be Affected?
There is hardly any disagreement on the fact that when countries like United States talk about bringing jobs back, it concerns India at some level. This time around it is bill 5980 with the magical title ‘Bring Jobs Back to America: Strategic Manufacturing & Job Repatriation Act’. I call this magical because the title has been very smartly framed to ensure the bill wouldn’t face a lot of opposition. Introduced in the House of Representatives on July 29, 2010, the bill has become the center of discussion all around.
Lifting the veil of the title when we peep inside we find certain amendments suggested to the US Patent Act, of which three are noteworthy-
1) 18 month publication of patent applications restricted to abstract publication only.
This came as the biggest surprise of all. I haven’t been able to establish a link between keeping patent complete text a secret and increase in job opportunities back in United States. If this amendment gets through it would mean the public pair will become less informative as anything that relates to the text of a patent application will not be available. A link that a guest post on Patently O blog tries to establish that-’the proposed shift would potentially impact companies that have come to depend on access to published patent applications as a source of lawful competitive intelligence and freedom-to-practice planning.’ How does this affect a country like India given that a lot of other jurisdictions mandate publishing complete text of applications- I don’t think India would care!!!
2) As per another suggested amendment 35 USC 102 (e) will be limited to international applications designating USA. This means that for the purposes of 102 (e) novelty will be negated if the invention was described in a patent granted on an application for patent by another in an international application filed under the PCT and designates USA. Once again what does this have to do with repatriating jobs is a question that people who have any clue are welcome to respond.
3) For examination of patent applications priority will be given to applications made by companies affiliated with higher education institutions. The only nexus that can be established between this suggested amendment and the purpose of the bill is that this will encourage more and more companies to incubate out of universities and other higher education institutions.
Over all it looks as if the objective of the bill got lost in an attempt to establish a connection between patent law and the economic meltdown in the US. I like the observation of patentpostgrant.com and will conclude this post with the same-
“If you are one of those foolish people out there under the impression that the U.S. banking and real estate crash has led to the current economic state, heightened unemployment, etc, you would be wrong. Turns out, the 18 month publication of patent applications, and 35 USC § 102(e) have ruined the U.S economy….who knew?”
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