FiRe 2017: Patents, Are We Truly Protected?

By Ahrash Poursaid

As the second day of FiRe conference wound down into the breakout sessions, Evan Anderson, CEO of INVNT/IP and Steven Sherman, VP Member Advocacy gave an eye opening talk about Intellectual Property (IP) protection and how they do not fully protect us.

Steven Sherman’s opening remarks about patent protection was reassuring and offered a hopeful tone about the importance of IP and the innovation it protects

Sherman said innovation is driving economies and emphasized how protection is the backbone of the US economy. Quoting an economist, Enrico Moretti, he said “each new high-tech job in the U.S. creates five additional jobs in the service economy on the tech sector.” These, he said, are the reasons open innovation is highly encouraged and multiple financial opportunities for these ventures. Open innovation offers patent protection, trade secrets, separation on state and industry, competition on fair market principles.

Sherman pivoted to the negative ends of this industry — known as “Info Mercantilist” — which disregards patent and IP law, conducts unfair trade practices, and indulges in currency manipulation. Consequences of this is the loss of IP intensive jobs, which has a greater negative multiple effects on employment.

“Over 1.8 million global jobs were permanently lost in the telecom equipment sector alone resulting from Chinese infomerc[sic] practices,” said Sherman.

Anderson said that these actions can have dire effects on the US economy as well as international ones, but it should not deter people from innovation.

“Information is truly what drives economies today,” said Anderson. “Create valuable decisions for value creation.”

He also continued the Sherman’s conversation about China and that once the information of a new idea has been created, China can take the information and change it.

Despite the pessimism, Sherman ended on an optimistic note.

“Crown jewel intellectual property is the lifeblood of economics, companies, individuals both now and in the future,” he said. “Help us stop the bleeding.”