Native Americans have been through a lot; but according to The Washington Times, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) seems to think otherwise.
In September, drug maker Allergan gave six patents to the Saint-Regis Mohawk tribe, paying the tribe $13.5 million to accept the patents including yearly payments of $15 million until the patents expire in 2024.
After that transaction, Allergan moved to dismiss an inter partes review, known as an IPR, which is a patent review. The reason? Sovereign immunity.
Because of a law signed into order during the Obama administration, Allergan and the Saint-Regis Mohawk tribe may lose the rights and reviews of the patents due to sovereign immunity, a bill supported by Claire McCaskill.
“Sovereign immunity” is when the “government cannot be sued without its consent.” This doctrine has been applied to the federal government, states, public universities and Native American tribes for countless years. The law was initially meant to help stop patent trolls and help protect patents of business owners living in Native American communities.
In 2014 McCaskill led the charge on the SBA’s 8(a) program which helps business owner in lower-economic areas, to better serve their communities. Many of the businesses a part of the program are from Native American Tribes who need these programs to serve their communities.
“As Gene Quinn of IP Watch Dog wrote, the senator has introduced the bill with the ‘sole purpose of [making] it impossible for Native American Indian tribes that own patents to assert sovereign immunity when those patents are challenged in proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.’”
Generic drug manufactures have regularly used the IPR process in attempts to open patents earlier than intended, which ends up making the net result a significant disincentive for companies to invest billions of dollars in a new drug development.
“‘In retrospect, it would have been better for Congress to have addressed problems within the IPR process by limiting the scope to patent trolls specifically, but that has not happened. As a result, companies and universities have been exploring ways to protect their legitimate intellectual property from nefarious actors,’ the Washington Examiner reports.”
There is no record of McCaskill objecting to the use of sovereign immunity by the government as she plays her part in ruining the success of Native American businesses. Looks like this liberal is defining the textbook example of what discrimination is.