America’s patent system could likely rattle off more than three reasons, on those three points America’s patent system would be immediately begin to flourish. They were: (1) the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay v. MerchExchange; (2) the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo v. Prometheus; and (3) the creation of post grant administrative challenges at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
President Ronald Reagan, conservative icon, was a supporter America’s patent system. It was President Reagan who demanded a buildup of the USPTO as part of his overall strategy to make America great again and compete with the Japanese for technology dominance. It was President Reagan that demanded the Patent Office push down unacceptably high pendency rates, getting the average pendency down to 18 months. President Reagan accomplished this goal by reaching a compromise with Congress. According to then head of the USPTO, Gerald Mossinghoff, President Reagan would commit to reducing patent application pendency if “Congress would enact a meaningful increase in user fees, which the USPTO could retain…” See Ronald Reagan, The Intellectual Property President (an essay in Reagan Remembered).. Thus, President Reagan did exactly the opposite of what politicians have been doing over the last generation. President Reagan did not raid the USPTO coffers, instead he reinvested in the USPTO so they could do their job.
The Commission Report, which was issued in 1985, analyzed a massive migration of technology and industry from the United States to Germany, Japan, Korea and other parts of the globe. The Report concluded that the lack of meaningful intellectual property protection was a principal driver of that outflow of technology and industry, and that corrective action was required. See A Short History Lesson on Patent Policy.
Since technological innovation requires large investments of both time and money… Research and development are always risky. If the developers of a new technology cannot be assured of gaining adequate financial benefits from its commercialization, they have few incentives to make the huge investments required.
Today, the need to protect intellectual property is greater than ever. A wave of commercial counterfeiting, copyright and design infringement, technology pirating, and other erosions of intellectual property rights is seriously weakening America’s comparative advantage in innovation.