China is vying to become the world’s No. 1 superpower, a distinction long held by the U.S. The communist country “is threatening American innovation and national security by exploiting weaknesses in U.S. patent protection, and Big Tech is letting them get away with it,” according to a synopsis for a new documentary film, “Innovation Race,” which opens in theaters Wednesday.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding, author of “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elites Slept,” says that “the movie itself really talks about the importance of the patent system to innovation in the United States, how that’s kept our country secure throughout the almost 240-plus years of existence, and how that security was negated by the America Invents Act.

“And how in this competition that we face today, with China in particular, that it’s creating a challenge for America in terms of innovation and keeping its rightful place at the top of science, technology, and research and development,” Spalding says.

The America Invents Act was passed and signed into law in 2011 by then-President Barack Obama, who at the time said the “much-needed reform will speed up the patent process so that innovators and entrepreneurs can turn a new invention into a business as quickly as possible.”

Spalding also discusses what he found to be the most surprising takeaway from the “Innovation Race” documentary.

“Well, I in particular like the stories of the inventors. And I think understanding the personal calculations that they went through in terms of trying to protect their intellectual property and then realizing that they’re not able to, to me was … I think, the most important part of the film,” he says.

Spalding added:

One of the things about America is, innovation relies on individual initiative, and if you’re not certain about the ability to protect your intellectual property, then you’re going to be less likely to go out there and take all the financial risks and personal risks that are associated with being an entrepreneur and or inventor.

And so, hearing those stories, understanding the implications across our economy as you multiply those by 330 million, really just gives you a sense of the gravity of the challenge that this American Invents Act created for our country.

Spalding joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the “Innovation Race” movie, what’s at stake for U.S. national security, and the so-called Made in China 2025 plan. (“‘Made in China 2025’ is an initiative to comprehensively upgrade Chinese industry,” Scott Kennedy, senior adviser and trustee chair in Chinese business and economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, explains.)


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