To the editor:
Voters in the Second Congressional District should demand to know why Rep. John Kline (a career soldier) has failed to author and support a NO-COST, “Creative Freedom Act” in Washington to boost jobs for our returning soldiers (who face up to 29% unemployment in some areas).
Current rules allow the despicable practice of employers requiring our returning soldiers to SURRENDER their civil rights to creative freedom before they will be given a job! Our soldiers are not losing their precious civil rights to some foreign power but to our own less-than-patriotic American employers!
Largely unknown by the public is the widespread practice of large employers destroying countless new business and job opportunities by requiring employees to sign a crippling “Employee Agreement” (EA) -- as a condition of employment. The typical EA claims blanket ownership of employee inventions 24/7 by the employer, but with no obligation to actually USE these claimed inventions! This missing obligation gives the employer awesome power to claim, block and scuttle a HUGE amount of unwanted employee creativity!
For example: had I invented the fabulous Xerox copier, my employer would have already owned it and most assuredly would have quickly SCUTTLED it rather than support it! Fortunately, I DIDN’T invent that process which has produced a $50 BILLION entirely new xerographic industry and 500,000 new, private-sector jobs! (WSJ May 23, 1989)
Use or Return
The proposed “Creative Freedom Act” would require employers to simply ‘Use or Return” all claimed employee inventions!
This extremely simple initiative (with appropriate amendments) promises to establish a permanent, NO-COST, business and job stimulant for all Americans. Its main features are: 1) Employers would develop more inventions for fear of losing ownership of them due to inaction), 2) Employees would submit more inventions, (knowing that the employer could no longer claim and scuttle them), 3) This combination promises to provide a “self-stimulating” source of new business and jobs – all at no-cost to the taxpayers!
Second district voters should pressure Rep. Kline (or his replacement) to author and champion a Creative Freedom Act in Congress, to apply to all companies engaged in interstate commerce.
Korean vet and retired 30-year R&D engineer