The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recognized a milestone of human ingenuity this week that perhaps even the Founding Fathers’ never anticipated: granting the 10 millionth patent. The Founding Fathers who drafted the Constitution understood that strong, enforceable inventor rights are necessary “[t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts,” and went on to establish the U.S. patent system in 1790. Since then, intellectual property protections have been the driver of America’s unique culture of innovation.
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim’s recent policy statements and enforcement actions have re-asserted the historical value of intellectual property rights. He has suggested that the value of these rights have been inappropriately curtailed by the misapplication of antitrust principles, which could threaten the future of U.S. innovation efforts. As a result, AAG Delrahim has begun to restore the balance between antitrust and intellectual property rights, and has moved this important issue to the forefront of antitrust discourse.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday issued its ten millionth patent, for a laser detection system. The patent, called “Coherent ladar using intra-pixel quadrature detection”, was granted to technology and innovation company Raytheon and was invented by Raytheon principal engineering fellow Joseph Marron.
"Qualcomm is selectively asserting its patents to target only Apple products containing Intel chipsets -- even though its patent infringement allegations would apply equally to Apple products containing Qualcomm chipsets -- in an attempt to use the ITC as another mechanism for perpetuating its ill-gotten monopoly position," Apple wrote.
One activity humans should be exceptionally good at is innovation. Being able to conceive of new ways to shape the material world to our advantage is what differentiates us from animals. Yet, surprisingly, while humans are great at creating ideas, they are extremely poor managers of the social processes that create stellar new projects.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced the launch of a new award to encourage innovation and help revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. It will be known as the American-Made Solar Prize, a competition for entrepreneurs to develop ideas into concepts that improve the solar industry.
The next wave of technological innovation is shaping up differently. China’s rulers have identified the industries they want to dominate this century, from robotics to biotechnology and artificial intelligence, or AI. Chinese firms with a project in those fields don’t have to sweat through pitches to venture capitalists: government coffers are open.
The greatest threat to the American workforce is not automation. It is not the digital revolution. It is the stagnation of innovation. If the U.S. continues on its current trajectory it will be surpassed by China and Russia before the next generation. As of now, this is a threat, but if we do not act soon, it will mark the extinction of the American workforce as we know it.
Panting warnings that the United States is falling dangerously behind our opponents in the race for military innovation are commonplace. The United States is a strange country in which outside critics and defense insiders, both in government and in private industry, are quick to attack the very innovation system that has produced the many incredible weapons that give the United States its global reputation for military-technological leadership.
Innovation has been the lifeblood of America since the country’s founding fathers established a patent office in 1790. In recent years, the pace of innovation has certainly increased, especially for engineers who design chips and systems. We have now reached a point where the 10 millionth utility patent is about to be granted.