In the last several months I\u2019ve come to appreciate the role that innovation plays in our society and the extent to which our economy\u2014and particularly the IT sector\u2014depends on it. I\u2019m currently finishing a feature story due out in April that looks at the future of U.S. innovation in the context of technology policy, and my colleague Chris Koch just finished a killer article looking at the latest trend of sending R&D offshore. \n\n\n\nThat trend seems to be at the heart of the government\u2019s objections to the IBM-Lenovo deal, where Big Blue would sell its PC division to a Chinese company. In the last week or so, what seemed like a done deal has suddenly become enormously complicated. Three powerful Congressmen have urged Treasury Secretary John Snow to block the sale on the grounds of national security. Here\u2019s a helpful article from IDG News Service that will get you caught up. \n\n\n\nTo me the national security argument rings hollow. The PCs are being made in China anyway. If someone was going to reverse engineer something they would have done it already (and probably have), and changing the name on the computer won\u2019t change the chances of a hack.\n\n\n\nWhat I think we are seeing is the first signs that members of Congress might not be as comfortable with offshore outsourcing as they thought they were. Keep in mind this is just my two cents, but it strikes me that the selling of a division may actually be approaching some sort of line, i.e., it is fine if you make the stuff there, just make sure that the intellectual property is owned by the U.S. \n\n\n\nWhat do you guys think? Does it matter where R&D takes place? Does it matter who owns the intellectual property? Is there a line and if so where would you draw it?