Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Obama's IP thinktank just as childish as McCains

I think Obama (in addition to this review of his platform) might be unfit as well, if you are worried about having a president who understands enough about technology to oversee an overhauling of the Patent Office. The AeA held a Q&A session on Monday last week for the sci and tech community, featuring Obama's science advisers. They spent lots of time talking about innovation and competitiveness; the poor preparedness of our kids when it comes to math and science education; the fact that we don't invest in basic research, etc. It all sounded good, if at times also a bit hollow and full of empty promises. They never really answered questions directly and repeated the same old rhetoric that we've heard for the last couple of years. Obama's staff said that he promises a strategic plan within 90 days - maybe within 6 months, its was too soon for them to make any promises - that will ensure a strong knowledge based economy. They also didn't miss a chance to get in some digs at the poor science record of the Bush administration. For all of their pablum about the importance of remaining competitive in the world and beefing up our commitment to science and technology, I stopped listening when someone asked, "Is the protection of intellectual property on the radar? Is it important?" And Karen Kornbluh - one of the panelists http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Kornbluh - said, "I don't know. Can I check and get back to you on that?" This is not promising for reform of the PTO, when both presidential candidates treat technology and innovation so cavalierly.