American innovation depends on strengthening patents

The American patent system is the lifeblood of the U.S. innovation economy. Businesses that secure patents innovate at higher rates than those that lack intellectual property; startups and new businesses that hold patents attract capital more easily than those that do not; and startups that obtain a patent are more likely to go public. According to the Department of Commerce, intellectual property intensive industries account for 38.2 percent of the U.S. economy, and support over 45.5 million good, high-paying jobs — about 30 percent of all U.S. employment.

Yet, despite the clear benefits of strong patents, the U.S. patent system is in decline. According to this year’s U.S. Chamber of Commerce International IP Index, the strength of the U.S. patent system has fallen to tenth in the world, tied with Hungary, and lagging behind Italy and Spain. This is not the leadership in global innovation our country needs.