St. Louis Post-Dispatch Letter: Patent system encourages American innovation, by Charles McCloskey
This letter originally appeared in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on February 9, 2015.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated Feb. 11 as National Inventors’ Day to honor the impact inventors have had on our nation. Feb. 11 is also Thomas Edison’s birthday. As an inventor of renown, Mr. Edison held over 1,000 patents for his groundbreaking inventions. Patents of Edison and of more recent inventors have grown our economy and nation.
For over 200 years, the American patent system has given our nation’s innovators the protections needed to succeed. The patent system provides patent holders the peace of mind in doing their work knowing that their property is adequately protected. This incentivizes innovation and builds investor confidence: Both promote growth and spur job creation in Missouri and nationally.
The current patent system allows innovators to communicate freely with alleged infringers upon their patents. This communication avoids costly litigation that many innovators can not afford. It also recognizes that larger entities cannot use the property of smaller patent holders without compensating them.