Startups depend on a strong patent system to thrive


By Angela Macfarlane

The entire innovative process in the U.S. depends on a strong and robust patent system. I have seen this first-hand for over 20 years in my career as a startup entrepreneur in Silicon Valley.

As the CEO of a medical technology company, which is working to improve the lives of millions of Americans living with macular degeneration and other sight threatening diseases, I know that our innovations and those of countless other startups across the country are driven by strong intellectual property protections and the venture capital those protections allow us to raise.

The creativity, exploration and entrepreneurship that fuel my company can only occur in the U.S. because of our patent system. It is a unique system and often held up as a model in other countries. It is also the major reason the U.S. is considered a leader in innovation. The patents we attain on our inventions enable us to secure venture capital funding to conduct R&D, attract doctors, scientists, engineers and manufacturing specialists, withstand a long FDA approval process, and ultimately provide safe and effective products to patients. We are passionate about doing this work, even though it can take decades to make a single life-changing breakthrough. But there must be some legal certainty to protect our investments, and there must be some reward.


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