A few comments.
You write: "All the participants agreed on the same underlying principle: intellectual property rights are important and should be protected. In general, both sides agreed on the general goal of more rigorous patent examination that would, in theory, result in stronger patents. ... the general recognition of the importance in IP protection and its role in the economy was emphasized. ... The ‘problem' is that patents being issued today do not generate the confidence and respect in the public that, as a matter of public policy, one would expect."
Why would one "expect" this from the government? The state can't do anything well except destroy and damage. Why would anyone expect it to do anything constructive well?
"The bad press and attacks on patents in general have eroded confidence in all patents."
Why is this a bad thing? If patents are a net harm on society, why shouldn't people be skeptical of them? Why isn't it better that patents are weak?
"An inventor who obtains a patent cannot enjoy as much of the benefits of the patent as public policy would dictate."
Perhaps true; but why would anyone think the level of benefits that public policy "would dictate" are justifiable?
"Patents should be issued for inventions which are new, useful, and fully disclosed. Inventions that do not meet all three requirements should not be issued. Seems pretty simple, but the execution of the solution is down and dirty and decidedly not glamorous."
It doesn't seem simple to me. These requirements are purely arbitrary, unscientific, non-objective, legislated criteria, administered by a federal bureaucracy and federal courts--i.e., by a bunch of government employees. Why would anyone think this could ever be simple or just?
"I was glad to know that advisors to both candidates had a firm grasp of the issues and fundamentally agreed that strong Intellectual Property rights would be good for the country as a matter of policy."
Why do you assume that strong IP rights are "good for the country"? I mean, how do you know this? Why do IP practitioners always assume this--just because it is in their interest for the patent system to stay in place does not mean it is good for the country. No one can deny that the patent system imposes costs on the economy. How do its proponents know that the benefits are greater than the costs? Russ, what are the net benefits, in dollar terms? What are its benefits? Its costs? If you don't know, how do you know the net is positive?