At a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio on Friday, President Obama took questions from the audience. One local businessman asked the President about patent protection, expressing his frustrations that large corporations are holding large patent portfolios simply to stifle innovation. The following is Ohio.com’s report of the President’s response:
”We need a patent system that encourages innovation and doesn’t lock in big monopolies from trying to get another 10 years on a patent that prevents new products into the system,” Obama said.
The president said he would like to broaden the global scope of patents and extend patent rights to foreign countries.
”We have insufficient protection for intellectual property rights,” he said.
Obama said more protection is needed for things like bootleg DVDs and sophisticated software.
”There is nothing wrong with others using our technology as long as it’s licensed and we get paid for it,” Obama said.
It seems the president takes two directions here, stating that he would like to limit domestic patent rights in duration, but broaden patent rights in scope. One important takeaway, however, is that the President understand’s the link between the amount of exclusivity in IP rights and the optimal amount of innovation.