Thursday, April 03, 2008

Patent reform politics: who donates most to the Democrats?

CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER of AP in a piece titled, Unions Pounce on Patent Reform, noted:

Labor's opposition puts Senate Democrats who support the measure in a tight spot. Patent reform is a top priority for another Democratic constituency: high-tech companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Cisco Systems Inc.


Computer and Internet companies gave $1.3 million, 57 percent of their total federal contributions, to Democratic candidates in 2007-2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Their contributions are dwarfed by organized labor, which has given more than $24 million in the same period, 90 percent to Democratic candidates.

Labor's opposition has "captured lawmakers' attention," said Robert Lindefjeld, a patent attorney at Jones Day, because they have demonstrated a link between the otherwise complex and obscure issue of patent reform and jobs. In an effort to placate unions and other opponents, Leahy and other senators are scrambling for a compromise.

A Senate aide, who requested anonymity, said, "There's a lot of interest groups involved ... It's difficult to address everyone's concerns so that they're 100 percent happy with the outcome."

One notes that Mark Lemley, patent advisor to Barack Obama, recently put out a law review article on patent reform that was funded by Apple Computer, Cisco Systems, Intel, Micron Technology, Microsoft, and SAP . [See 85 Tex. L. Rev. 1991 (2007)
--> We are grateful to Apple Computer, Cisco Systems, Intel, Micron Technology, Microsoft, and SAP for funding the research reported in this Article.] Senator Obama may (or may not) accept money from special interests, but his advisors do. This looks more like the politics of the past.

See also

Frenkel and Yen: the Cisco Kid and Pancho, or the Lone Ranger and Tonto?


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