1. Patent Reform and Economic Growth
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  • Patent Reform and Economic Growth

    July 28, 2015
    Scientist doing research and development. Scientist doing research and development. Scientist doing research and development.

    By Kevin Rhodes, Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel

    Last year, 3M earned its 100,000th patent – a major milestone that marks more than a point of pride in the company’s history. Patents continue to provide the legal foundation upon which innovators can make the costly and uncertain investments in R&D and manufacturing that turn an invention into a business. And that means they are critical to maintaining America’s global leadership in innovation, which is the surest way to spur economic growth and create jobs.

    Congress has the opportunity this year to pass important legislation to strengthen and reform America’s patent system. I chair the steering committee of the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform (21C), a diverse group of more than 40 companies across 18 different industry sectors. Together, we invest billions of dollars annually in R&D to create jobs and improve lives.

    21C has worked with lawmakers to help put together the comprehensive package of patent reforms in the Senate’s patent reform bill, S. 1137, the “Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015” (the PATENT Act). The PATENT Act represents a thoughtful, constructive and bipartisan approach to strengthening America’s patent system. Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering a separate bill, which we oppose, that includes several potentially harmful provisions that go well beyond what is necessary to curb abusive patent litigation and instead risks weakening all patent rights. We’ll continue our work with Congress on this important legislation and will advocate for reforms that ensure our next 100,000 patents continue to help protect 3M’s ongoing investments in science applied to life.

    By Kevin Rhodes, Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel

    Last year, 3M earned its 100,000th patent – a major milestone that marks more than a point of pride in the company’s history. Patents continue to provide the legal foundation upon which innovators can make the costly and uncertain investments in R&D and manufacturing that turn an invention into a business. And that means they are critical to maintaining America’s global leadership in innovation, which is the surest way to spur economic growth and create jobs.

    Congress has the opportunity this year to pass important legislation to strengthen and reform America’s patent system. I chair the steering committee of the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform (21C), a diverse group of more than 40 companies across 18 different industry sectors. Together, we invest billions of dollars annually in R&D to create jobs and improve lives.

    21C has worked with lawmakers to help put together the comprehensive package of patent reforms in the Senate’s patent reform bill, S. 1137, the “Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015” (the PATENT Act). The PATENT Act represents a thoughtful, constructive and bipartisan approach to strengthening America’s patent system. Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering a separate bill, which we oppose, that includes several potentially harmful provisions that go well beyond what is necessary to curb abusive patent litigation and instead risks weakening all patent rights. We’ll continue our work with Congress on this important legislation and will advocate for reforms that ensure our next 100,000 patents continue to help protect 3M’s ongoing investments in science applied to life.