Innovation Alliance Fact Sheet: Patent Myths vs. Facts
Patents are the foundation of our innovation economy. By granting inventors exclusive property rights to their inventions, patents provide a critical incentive for innovation, rewarding inventors and investors, and allowing them to recoup their upfront costs and invest in further R&D. The requirement that patent holders publicly disclose the technical details of their inventions enables other inventors to build upon their ideas. This system has been the driving force behind U.S. innovation leadership since our nation’s founding.
In fact, strong intellectual property protections, including patents, are vital to economic growth and job creation. IP-intensive industries account for $6.6 trillion in economic activity annually—more than one third of the total U.S. GDP. These industries also support 45.5 million jobs—approximately 30% of all employment in the United States. Moreover, workers in these industries earn significantly more than workers in non-IP-intensive industries.
Despite these facts, for years, some large technology corporations have been funding a campaign to demonize patent holders and weaken patent protections in the United States. By undermining patent rights, these companies hope to reduce their patent licensing costs and increase profit margins. As part of their campaign, they have promoted a series of myths about patents that have been repeated by press and policymakers.
We list some of the most widely repeated myths about patents and the facts that contradict them here.