It's being reported today that a diverse group of industry-leading companies such as Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft and Pfizer that have staked their businesses on innovation, have launched the Partnership for American Innovation (PAI) to safeguard America's position as a global innovation leader.
The group's press release states that former U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos, now a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, is a senior advisor to the newly formed group. PAI members represent a diverse cross section of the economy; they have different business models, use their patent portfolios in very different ways, and are frequently competitors. Together, these companies invest more than $40 billion every year in research and development and depend on the patent system to safeguard those investments. PAI-supported R&D supports over 1.2 million jobs and has created iconic products and services that consumers depend on — everything from the light bulb to the iPhone.
To date, the conversation around patents has been dominated by those seeking to curtail America's strong system for narrow, short-term gains. Companies like those in the PAI support a strong, balanced system and are working together to make sure the conversation is driven by facts, not rhetoric, and reason rather than emotion.
"As director of the USPTO, I saw firsthand the significant role the patent system plays in encouraging inventors, promoting investment in innovation, and creating jobs," Kappos said. "Now is not the time to gamble with America's innovation engine — once patent protections are eliminated, they cannot be restored."
IP-intensive industries generate $5 trillion in economic activity and create 40 million jobs. These jobs rely on a strong patent system to incentivize and protect the investments made by intellectual property (IP)-intensive companies.
The group notes on their website that protecting IP is essential to America’s ability to compete in markets around the world, America’s economic growth, and American jobs. If American companies cannot protect their investments in cutting-edge research and development, they will lose the ability to compete with emerging global competitors.