Bloomberg News catches the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, writing a letter supporting Toyota in a trade case brought by an American who says he has the patent to some of the hybrid technology used in the Prius. This is how Bloomberg frames it:
The Washington-based ITC must decide what is more important: Severinsky's right to protect the millions of dollars invested in his invention or the potential economic harm of banning Toyota's hybrid-vehicle imports.
"We're confident that the government will look at this for what it is," Jim Lentz, president of the Japanese automaker's U.S. sales unit in Torrance, California, said in an interview. "I don't think it would be in the best interest of the American consumer to take the No. 1-selling hybrid off the market."
We've been defending Toyota here on the sudden acceleration issue, but on this one, at least on the basis of the Bloomberg article, the spin seems a little strong. It's not exactly in the best interest of the American consumer either for inventors to have the intellectual property rights to their inventions taken away.