President Obama today signed that rarest of legislative enactments, a bipartisan bill. Will the America Invents Act address abuses of patent protection and make the US more competitive with China? Will it enshrine corporate advantages over the little guy? Also, a Supreme Court stay on execution puts spotlight on Rick Perry's Texas, and Swiss investment bank UBS says fraud by one of its employees cost $2 billion. Why didn't somebody notice before it was too late?
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The US Supreme Court stopped an execution in Texas last night and agreed to review claims that race played an improper role in the death sentence of Duane Buck, convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and a man who was in her apartment in 1995. Rick Perry, who's authorized 234 executions -- more than any governor in American history, recently defended his state's judicial process, which promises a "fair hearing" that can be appealed up to the US Supreme Court "if that's required." Anthony Cohen is chief legal analyst for CBS Radio News and legal correspondent for The Atlantic magazine.
The idea of the patent is to protect inventors from copycats who steal their ideas. Patents are crucial to US dominance of the world economy. But the US Patent Office is 700,000 applications behind. It takes so long to get one that, before it's issued, an invention often becomes obsolete. Facing competition with China, the US has revised the patent process with that rarest of legislative enactments, a bipartisan bill, signed into law today by President Obama. But with the America Invents Act, why will patents now go to the "first to file" instead of the "first to invent?" Will the big corporation have an advantage over the backyard genius?
Swiss investment bank UBS says a 31-year old trader lost $2 billion — all on his own with bad deals. Born in Ghana, and the son of a former UN official, Kweku Adoboli appeared in a London court today on fraud and false accounting charges. UBS claims he wrote an e-mail admitting he lost the money on bad trades. Allegedly, it took months, but nobody at the bank noticed anything wrong. UBS stocks are down more than 10 percent today and ratings agencies are warning about a possible downgrade. David Weidner is Wall Street columnist for MarketWatch.com and the Wall Street Journal.
David Weidner, MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal