Press Release

Locke: Innovation and Job Creation “Critical” in Assessing Patent Reform

Coalition for Patent Fairness Lauds Commerce Secretary Nominee’s Pledge to Use Economic Data When Considering Reform Measures

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 20, 2009: Innovation and job creation are important factors in determining patent reform policies, according to President Obama’s Commerce Secretary Designee Gary Locke.

In written testimony provided to the Senate Commerce Committee, Locke said, “[I]nnovation is critical to creating jobs and bringing us out of the current economic downturn.” His comments echo the Obama Administration’s position that patent reform will spur innovation and job creation and will be part of the Administration’s overall economic policy.

Locke also addressed the economic need for patent reform when he testified before the Committee. In his testimony Locke told Members of the Committee, "We must look over the horizon and prepare for the new economy that will emerge when this recession passes. Simply put, we must re-build, re-tool and re-invent our national strategies for sustained economic success.”

“We agree with Governor Locke’s statement that ‘innovation and job creation is essential to reversing the current economic downturn.’ A recent independent study by economist Dr. Everett Ehrlich projected that the Patent Reform Act of 2009, as written, would create 100,000 new jobs over the next five years. On that assessment alone, the Patent Reform Act is a job creation engine and Congress should pass it quickly,” the Coalition for Patent Fairness said.

The Ehrlich study projected the potential economic impact of S. 515, the Patent Reform Act of 2009. Dr. Ehrlich found that as written, including the reforms for instituting fairness in the damages process by establishing guidelines that allow inventors to recoup the true value of their invention in legitimate infringement cases, the Patent Reform Act would create 100,000 new high-tech sector jobs over the next five years. Dr. Ehrlich also warned in the report that if Congress failed to do anything and maintained the status quo, 150,000 more jobs could be lost over the same timeframe.

The Coalition for Patent Fairness is a diverse group of companies and industry associations dedicated to enhancing U.S. innovation, job creation, and competitiveness in the global market by modernizing and strengthening our nation’s patent system.

Contact: Amos Snead, 
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