With each new presidential administration, innovators and intellectual property practitioners alike begin their watch for signs of changing policy tides. With little over three months into Joe Biden’s presidency, it is far too early to call, particularly as efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate the vaccine rollout remain center stage. And over his almost 50-year political career, President Biden has rarely articulated strong IP policy positions. That said, certain indicators can offer insight into the potential policy avenues that the Biden administration may pursue over the coming years.
Geopolitical Threats and America’s Global Innovation Standing
If anything can be gleaned from President Biden’s “Made in America” platform materials, published during the 2020 presidential campaign, The Biden Plan To Ensure the Future Is “Made in All of America” by All of America’s Workers, it is his determination to take a tough stand against the theft of American IP abroad—a position this administration shares with the outgoing administration. The platform highlights the critical role that IP rights play in national security, especially in view of tense geopolitical relations with China. The Biden administration there clearly signaled its intent to prioritize efforts to push back against Chinese state-sponsored cyber espionage, forced technology transfer, and unfair trade practices, not only in view of national security concerns, but also with an eye towards fostering American innovation at home. Id.
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