An Innovation Ecosystem Drives the American Economy.
Strong patent protections have been a driving force behind U.S. economic growth and job creation for more than 200 years. They provide a critical incentive for innovation and allow inventors and entrepreneurs to raise the venture capital they need to conduct research and bring their technological and scientific breakthroughs to market.
As the result of a series of patent-weakening Supreme Court decisions, legislative changes and administrative measures over the last decade, the U.S. patent system is no longer considered the global gold standard for intellectual property rights. And while the U.S. has been curtailing patent protections, our foreign competitors, including China, have been moving to strengthen those protections and promote innovation in their countries.
In 2018, the U.S. fell to 12th place in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s international ranking of patent system strength, falling behind countries such as South Korea and Spain. The U.S. also fell out of the top 10 of Bloomberg’s international innovation index for the first time. Meanwhile, startup activity in the U.S. has slumped and venture capital investment has increasingly moved overseas.
The Innovation Alliance supports legislation and policies that would help put a stop to this decline and ensure that patent rights are protected as a fundamental underpinning of our innovation economy. For example, we support the bipartisan STRONGER Patents Act, which was introduced in the Senate in 2017 by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), and in the House in 2018 by Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Bill Foster (D-IL).
- The STRONGER Patents Act would treat patents like any other property, as our nation’s Founders intended when they included patent rights in the U.S. Constitution.
- It would permit injunctions to protect patent owners against infringement during and after court cases.
- It would ensure fairness in Patent Office administrative proceedings, limiting repetitive and harassing challenges against inventors.
- And it would end the diversion of patent application fees to other government spending, ensuring the Patent Office has the funding it needs to grant high-quality patents without harmful delay.
The STRONGER Patents Act would allow our patent system to continue serving as an engine for U.S. economic growth and job creation and help restore the U.S. to its position as the global leader in innovation.