One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
- Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy - July 17, 2019
- We Are Surrounded By Intellectual Property – Until We Aren’t - July 13, 2019
- A ‘Drain The Swamp’ Test: Will The Trump Admin Reward Amazon’s Killer Cronyism? - July 11, 2019
We have spent just about the entirety of the nascent Donald Trump Administration imploring them to rid themselves of every single Barack Obama Administration holdover they can identify. And that they dedicate specific staff members – who spend their entire time identifying Obama Administration holdovers.
The incoming Trump Administration represents a nigh 180-degree reversal of just about all things outgoing Obama Administration. And Obama Administration officials aren’t taking the transition lying down.
It was just yesterday reported that Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice spent her last months in office using our national security apparatuses to compile massive data on Obama Administration political enemies – specifically, incoming Trump Administration officials.
And then unmasking them. People who are masked – are supposed to stay masked: “Individuals in the U.S. who (were) not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations.”
How very Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of her.
If an Obama uber-senior official like Rice is willing to do something this obnoxious (and almost certainly illegal) – of course residual Obama bureaucrats of all sorts at all levels will do whatever they can to hobble Team Trump.
And from all appearances – many, many have.
The nascent Trump Administration has been besot by leaks from within. Time and again internal Executive Branch workings – have been made external. Think it’s incoming Trump loyalists doing this – or is it perhaps Obama holdovers upset with the nation’s choice of their old boss’ successor?
The nascent Trump Administration has been remarkably effective at beginning to clean up the enormous, intentional Executive Branch policy messes left for it by their predecessors. But their efforts have again and again been stymied by these residual worms in the works.
Has it finally registered with Team Trump that a massive purge is in order? Here’s hoping this bit of very good news – actually comes to full fruition. And is the start of something big:
“It was only recently announced that Michelle Lee, President Obama’s director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, would be sticking around in the same role for Trump. But it may turn out to be a very brief tenure. Sources tell Ashley the Commerce Department is interviewing replacement candidates for USPTO chief, including Philip Johnson, formerly of Johnson & Johnson, and former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader. And what of Lee? Remember, Rep. Darrell Issa, a vocal Lee supporter, has hinted she could be up for other potential gigs in the Trump administration, potentially in trade or technology policy. Stay tuned.”
As this excerpt says, the head of the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) is not just any bureaucrat – he or she is a high-level political appointee. Lee is more than a little problematic – in many of the same ways oh-so-many Obama holdovers are.
Lee’s policy perspective and the Trump policy perspective are…drastically different. Today, in this global information economy, these differences are crucial – and devastating.
As we become more and more electronic in more and more things economic – ideas and their protection achieve ever loftier heights of import. Intellectual property is the fuel of our modern world – and copyrights, trademarks and patents are some of the ways we protect it.
Trump campaigned for his office repeatedly demonstrating his fundamental understanding of this. Most notably, he serially highlighted China’s stealing from us intellectual property to the tune of $400+-billion-per-year. He ran on wanting to end it.
Does Michelle Lee – the Obama USPTO head Trump inherited – hold a similar perspective? It’s a little difficult to think that she does:
“Where was Lee pre-USPTO? Shocker – at Google. As Head of Patents and Patent Strategy. And what is Google’s patent strategy – indeed, its entire approach to the entirety of IP? Let’s just say…it’s very China-esque.
“The Evidence Google’s Systematic Theft is Anti-Competitive:
- Admitted Pattern of Promoting Online Piracy
- Anti-Competitive Pattern of Book Theft
- Willful Pattern of Promoting YouTube Video Theft
- Willful Pattern of Android Property Infringement
- Anti-Competitive Pattern of Stealing Competitors’ Signature Patented-Innovations
- Extensive Pattern of Content Theft
- Extensive Pattern of Trademark Theft
- Pattern of Stealing Contact Lists
“I’m pretty sure that, were I serious about IP protection, I would not look to Google for IP staffers. President Obama did. President Trump shouldn’t.”
Thankfully, it appears Team Trump is working towards ridding themselves – and us – of Lee. May they do so rapidly.
The sooner they do, the better it gets for all things patent, property, legitimate profit – and our entire economy.
And may Lee’s dispatch be the beginning of a huge Obama holdover purge.
It’s way past time for a whole lot of people to go.
[Originally Published at Red State]