Patent News

Jun. 12, 2018

Rep. Gosar (R-AZ) Congressional Record Statement: Recognizing May as National Inventors Month

This post originally appeared in the Congressional Record on June 12, 2018.

Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Speaker, if any single thing epitomizes American ingenuity, it is the iconic American inventor. It is our distinct pleasure, therefore, to give special recognition to the month of May as National Inventors Month.

President Lincoln considered how “certain inventions and discoveries [in history] occurred of peculiar value, on account of their great efficiency in facilitating all other inventions and discoveries.” Mr. Lincoln specified “the art of writing and of printing; the discovery of America, and the introduction of patent laws.” Today, we might refer to such inventions and discoveries as “disruptive technologies.”

National Inventors Month, 2018, it is well worth considering President Lincoln’s exaltation of invention and, by implication, of inventors. Moreover, we as a nation should pause to reflect why the Sixteenth President of the United States connected patent laws with invention and “disruptive” advancements. Notably, he even placed patenting of inventions on par with the discovery of America and the invention of the printing press. In the same lecture titled

“Discoveries, Inventions, and Improvements,” President Lincoln observed, “Before then any man [might] instantly use what another man had invented, so that the inventor had no special advantage from his invention. The patent system changed this, secured to the inventor for a limited time exclusive use of his inventions . . . .”

Not only President Lincoln, but the Founders held this belief about securing patent rights to the intellectual fruits of one’s labor. The Founders thought it important enough to empower and encourage invention by any American so inclined, in order to advance our nation’s collective knowledge and economic strength, that they included this very special, exclusive property right within the Constitution itself. Thus, our Founders deliberately intended to stimulate invention by inventors from sea to shining sea–be they on farms, in factories, toiling in their basements, barns, garages, in corporate research and development facilities, in the laboratories of companies and of our world-class universities.

President Lincoln, who has been the only U.S. president with a patent, summarized this famous, successful formula. He credited our patent system for its securing inventors’ exclusive rights to use their inventions as they see fit. He phrased this famously, completing the thought in the same speech. Mr. Lincoln said U.S. patents “”added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery and production of new and useful things.”

Therefore, we proudly recognize National Inventors Month. I encourage my fellow Americans to take this opportunity to reflect on the great benefits we daily enjoy from the inventions, great and small, of American inventors.