IP-Watch has a good article (subscriber only) on the US presidential candidates' positions on IP issues. Industry associations like the Business Software Alliance, the Consumer Electronics Association, and the International Trademark Association are hot on the campaign trail.
A quick summary of the candidates' positions on IP:
- On copyright:
- Obama wants greater enforcement and copyright reform. He thinks the Bush administration should have done more to pursue enforcement cases at the WTO. He also supported Creative Commons licensing of presidential debates. (Update Sept 22: he has Harold Varmus, advocate of open-access research, on his team of scientific advisors)
- McCain wants to crack down on piracy
- On patents:
- Obama suggests reform of the patent system, which would create a “gold-plated” patent much less vulnerable to court challenge while also ensuring that "where dubious patents are being asserted, the PTO could conduct low-cost, timely administrative proceedings to determine patent validity."
- McCain argues that "too much protection can stifle the proliferation of important ideas and impair legitimate commerce in new products to the detriment of our entire economy." McCain wants to provide alternatives to litigation in resolving patent challenges.
- On net neutrality