U.S. House Representative Thomas Massie’s Open Letter: Protecting the Small Inventor
This letter originally appeared in U.S. House Rep. Thomas Massie’s website on December 2, 2014.
As a small inventor and holder of 29 patents, I care deeply about innovation and its role in our economy. Here is an update on my yearlong fight to protect small inventors and the constitutional intellectual property rights that have helped make our nation the most prosperous on Earth.
I recently had the opportunity to ask representatives from the Patent Office Professional Association and the United States Patent and Trademark Office for their thoughts on intellectual property. I voiced concern about future attempts at patent reform that could hurt small inventors.
One year ago this week, the House of Representatives passed the Innovation Act by a vote of 325-91. Because it was rushed through the House of Representatives without the debate required for such an important issue, I voted against the bill.
The Innovation Act would pose a serious threat to the American inventor. The bill would extinguish creativity and invention. Stories of Edison, Ford, and Tesla are only possible in America, where a robust intellectual property system and judicial system work together to protect the property rights of inventors.
Recklessly weakening the patent system, as this bill does, will deprive inventors of an income and a livelihood. They will pursue other careers. As the role models for young inventors quietly fade into history, fewer young students will pursue invention. A decade from now, Congress will further lament the lack of interest among the next generation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, arrogantly unaware that it was Congress that killed that interest with a bill like this.
Read the full letter here.