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Aug. 7, 2015

The Cleveland Plain Dealer: Patent reform in Washington threatens Cleveland-area innovation, by Robert N. Schmidt

This post originally appeared in The Cleveland Plain Dealer on August 7, 2015.

Ever since the first patent in the United States was issued to Samuel Winslow on a new process to make salt, patents have been an integral part of the American economy. The Constitution, along with the Patent Act of 1790, established a strong patent system that has fueled 225 years of innovation and has been a major driver of our economy ever since.

As an inventor, I can attest that patents have enabled our group of five companies to grow our small businesses to the point that we now employ about 80 people; almost all are based in the Cleveland area.

Patents make new products and innovative treatments an attractive investment opportunity. Patents give investors confidence in industries that require a lot of time and research before a product can ever get to market. Upsetting the applecart of patents puts the future of many innovative industries in jeopardy.