Opinions and Editorials

May. 17, 2021

IP Watchdog: USIJ Responds to Remarks Made by Senator Leahy on World IP Day Regarding Prior USPTO Administration by Robert Taylor and Chris Israel

In celebration of last month’s World IP Day, Senate Judiciary Committee Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Leahy expressed his support for a determined effort to encourage more individuals and small companies across this country to invent new technologies and products. He also noted the need for the U.S. patent system to incentivize this effort. The Alliance of U.S. Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) strongly supports Chairman Leahy’s important objective of empowering startups and inventors, and we frankly think it has been underappreciated for many years.

From the very inception of our country, an important feature differentiating the patent system created by the U.S. Constitution from the those of England and other European countries was precisely the objective Chairman Leahy raised – to make it possible for ordinary citizens to invent things and to protect their inventions with patents obtainable without large outlays of cash for fees and lawyer’s charges, or large manufacturing plants, that only the wealthy in Europe could afford. Those patents, in turn, allowed U.S. inventors to develop new ideas that could be turned into products by raising capital or by licensing their inventions to larger companies that had greater resources for manufacturing and distribution. This ability to disclose and license new inventions to larger companies without fear of misappropriation is a critically important incentive for small companies, entrepreneurs, inventors and their investors, and has served us well for 230 years. Some of the most iconic names in U.S. history include individual inventors who made breakthrough discoveries and turned them into products that have enriched the lives of Americans for nearly two centuries. We applaud Senator Leahy’s attention to this group and would like very much to work with him and his Subcommittee to promote governmental actions that will implement and enhance the foregoing objective.