Calls For U.S. Patent Reforms To
Spur Innovations, Global Competition
The Council on Foreign Relations is the premier think tank devoted to independent analysis of U.S. foreign policy and global political relations. It publishes the journal Foreign Affairs and has an extensive publication program. About 2 years ago the Council began issuing a series of Council Special Reports (CSR) analyzing problems for U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. In late 2005 their economics director (Doug Holtz-Eakin, former director of Congressional Budget Office) asked Professor Keith Maskus if he would write a CSR on the U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR) system and he agreed. It quickly became clear that it would not be possible to cover all of the IPR system in one report, so it limited the discussion to patents, excluding copyrights and trademarks. Succeeding drafts of the CSR were presented at the Council’s headquarters in New York in March and June 2006 to an advisory board of business experts. The draft was finalized through collaboration between editors and Keith while he was visiting at University of Munich in September and October.
The final draft was discussed at a breakfast meeting in Washington D.C. on November 28, with patent attorneys, inventors, and other related professionals. That version was published as CSR number 19 a day later. To read the full report, go to the Council on Foreign Relations at http://www.cfr.org/publication/12087/