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Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank Highlights Importance of U.S. Patent System to American Innovation at Signing Ceremony for Patent Number 8 Million

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a ceremonial signing for patent no. 8,000,000 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum–the former home of the U.S. Patent Office. Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank and Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos presented the patent to Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., for a visual prosthesis apparatus that enhances visual perception for people who have gone blind due to outer retinal degeneration.

At the ceremony, Blank underscored the critical role the U.S. patent system plays in fostering American innovation and economic competitiveness. Together with Kappos, she urged the Senate to act swiftly to pass the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act without amendment so the President can sign the patent reform legislation into law in the coming days. The America Invents Act will help create new jobs by simplifying the process inventors face for getting a patent, while making the system more transparent and reducing costly and time-consuming litigation. The bill also substantially improves the patent office’s current funding situation, without adding to the deficit, by creating a process that will help the USPTO access all of the fees it collects to efficiently grant higher-quality patents and drive down the backlog of unexamined patent applications.   Blank's remarks  |  Kappos's remarks  |  More on Patent No. 8 Million