Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the Introduction of the Patent Act


Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued a statement on the introduction of the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act (PATENT Act).
“I applaud Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, and Senators John Cornyn, Chuck Schumer, Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee, and Amy Klobuchar for introducing the PATENT Act, a bill which will strengthen America’s patent system and prevent abusive practices that threaten to undermine innovation.  
Two hundred and twenty-five years ago, President George Washington signed the first Patent Act, putting America on a path to being one of the most innovative countries in the world and creating a system that protects the ideas, inventions and innovations of our country’s entrepreneurs.
Those who abuse the patent system jeopardize its integrity and value, and their actions can prevent actual innovators – particularly entrepreneurs and small businesses – from bringing their products and services to market. For these reasons President Obama has called for legislation to finish the job that we began with the America Invents Act, and continued through the President's executive actions two years ago. Time and again, the President has voiced his commitment to common sense legislation that addresses abuses of the patent system, levels the playing field for innovators, and promotes innovation to support America’s economy.
The stakes are high. Our Commerce Department economists recently studied the overall value of intellectual property to the U.S. economy and found that industries that rely on intellectual property protections support 40 million American jobs and more than one-third of America’s Gross Domestic Product, which represents $5 trillion a year.
Protecting America's intellectual property is a key part of the Commerce Department’s mission to foster the conditions for economic growth. As Secretary of Commerce, I strongly support targeted and balanced legislation that will strengthen our patent system while also ensuring the system works effectively to address abuses and inefficiencies — just the sort of legislation that Senators Grassley, Leahy, Schumer, Cornyn, Hatch, Lee, and Klobuchar have introduced today. Our country must protect one of its most valuable resources – the ideas, intellectual property and cutting edge discoveries of our entrepreneurs and businesses. Such protection is fundamental to the growth of our economy and I look forward to working with Congress to ensure this meaningful and effective patent reform legislation is enacted into law.”
  1. Economics and Statistics Administration & United States Patent and Trademark Office. “Intellectual Property And The U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus,” March 2012,
p. 6-7,  available from Economics and Statistics Administration.

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