Kentucky Enquirer: Opinion: Patent bills would hurt innovation, by Kyle Keeney
This post originally appeared in the Kentucky Enquirer on September 6, 2015.
Toward the end of each summer lawmakers travel back to their home states and districts for the August recess. This time away from our nation’s capital allows elected officials to reconnect with constituents and hear which issues matter most to folks back home.
But this year’s August recess was particularly important for innovators in Kentucky as there are currently two pieces of legislation pending in Congress that stand to dramatically alter a U.S. patent system that has served our country well for over 200 years. The Kentucky Life Science Council and the life science companies that are growing the local economy would like to encourage Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other lawmakers from Kentucky to support our universities and startup community by voting against the Innovation Act (H.R. 9) and the Patent Act (S. 1137).
For generations, the safeguards found in our patent system have incentivized innovation by shielding the valuable ideas and products of patent holders. In fact, the property rights that patent holders enjoy are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. These constitutional rights are the driving force behind the work of innovators – work that in many cases lasts several years or even a lifetime and would likely never occur if not for the defenses found in our country’s defining document.