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CTA Chief: Obama Should Back Patent Reform

WASHINGTON — Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro says there are three key things he thinks the tech sector would like to hear from the President in his last State of the Union speech Tuesday (Jan. 12), including encouraging “disruptive innovation.”

In a blog post, Shapiro suggested that the federal regulatory climate is currently chilly to such innovation. He said the climate "piles one employer mandate atop another," including higher overtime pay that he says insures that startups won't be able to hire new talent.

In addition to asking President Obama to repeal those new Department of Labor pay thresholds, Shapiro called for passage of patent legislation targeting so-called "trolls" who are draining $1.5 billion a week from the economy in needless litigation or in court settlements, he said.

Shapiro also asked Obama keep pushing for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a historic Pacific Rim trade agreement with 11 other countries that CTA as well as TV and film producers have lobbied for as a way to expand trade and access to Asia-Pacific markets.

"Implementing new trade and patent reform policies while supporting new business models would help ferment President Obama’s pro-innovation legacy and would help the tech economy thrive," Shapiro said.