What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Outsourcing of American Jobs Overseas : (H.R. 1249) On a motion that would have required the Patent and Trademark Office to “prioritize” applications for patents by inventors who “pledge to develop or manufacture their products, processes, and technologies in the United States” (2011 house Roll Call 490)
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(H.R. 1249) On a motion that would have required the Patent and Trademark Office to “prioritize” applications for patents by inventors who “pledge to develop or manufacture their products, processes, and technologies in the United States”
house Roll Call 490     Jun 23, 2011
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

This was a vote on a motion to recommit that would have required the Patent and Trademark Office to “prioritize” applications for patents by inventors who “pledge to develop or manufacture their products, processes, and technologies in the United States…” A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's opportunity to torpedo or significantly change a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. This motion to recommit was offered to patent law reform bill.

Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) urged support for this motion to recommit: “…Our future prosperity does depend upon our being the most innovative country in the world, the most innovative economy in the world. American scientists and American engineers are doing great work. We are doing some of the most advanced, sophisticated research in the world. For instance, we lead the world in solar cell research. We are making some of the greatest breakthroughs in that technology. Much of it is funded by the Department of Energy or by other Federal research programs. But 80 percent of the manufacturing of solar cells is being done in Asia, mostly in China….the benefit of innovation should not just be higher profits for American corporations. The benefit should be good jobs for American workers. Under this motion to recommit, those companies will still get their patents, but they don't go to the front of the line. The people who go to the front of the line are those who will pledge that they will do their manufacturing here in the United States, creating good jobs for American workers….Help American workers share in the prosperity that comes from American innovation from our research, from our innovation. Support this motion to recommit.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) opposed this motion to recommit: “The [underlying patent] bill helps businesses from a broad range of industries, independent inventors, and universities. But the biggest winners are the American people. They will get more job opportunities and greater consumer choices. This amendment would mean that U.S. companies and inventors would be discriminated against all over the world when they file. It would be open season on American innovators and businesses. We would no longer be able to sell products abroad, and IP theft of U.S. goods would become rampant.”

The House rejected this motion to recommit by a vote of 172-251. Voting “yea” were 171 Democrats and 1 Republican. 234 Republicans and 17 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected a motion to recommit that would have required the Patent and Trademark Office to “prioritize” applications for patents by inventors who “pledge to develop or manufacture their products, processes, and technologies in the United States…”

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