Patent backlog hinders nation’s job creation

Article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with interesting numbers. 

Highlights:

-Many of the missing jobs – hundres of thousands or possibly millions – are buried under the backlog of 1.2 million unprocessed patent applicatoins that have accumulated over the past 10 years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

-A single U.S. patent can create three to ten jobs. 

-Nothaft estimates more than 2 million new jobs are buried in the backlog

-“Innovation is our competitve advantage… It’s not manufacturing costs.  It’s not labor costs.  It’s innovation and our ability to protect those innovations and turn those innovations into products.”

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Biotechnology and the State of the Union Address

The following was published in Politico’s Join the Debate.  Politico asked “What should Obama say in the State of the Union?”

 

Jim Greenwood Former Congressman (R-Pa.), President and CEO, Biotechnology Industry Organization :

 

The president’s State of the Union should, rightly, focus on jobs, particularly the need to create and fill new jobs to compete in an increasing competitive global marketplace. There’s no industry that better exemplifies the promise of job creation than biotechnology.

Today, the U.S. biotechnology sector employs more than 1.3 million workers in high-skill, high-wage jobs. Since 2001, our industry has added nearly 200,000 jobs. This is quite an accomplishment in the midst of a deep recession, and a sign that this industry can be a driver of economic growth. Quite literally we are just what the doctor – and president – has ordered.

Strong patent protection, balanced reimbursement policies, science-based regulations and other pro-innovation public policies will help our industry fulfill our promise. Through targeted policies such as the Therapeutic Discovery Project, which awarded tax credits to small cutting-edge biotech companies to support research and development efforts, the president can help spur continued medical innovation, grow American jobs and position our nation for continued leadership in the global marketplace.

Senator Leahy’s remarks on Senate Judiciary’s Innovation Agenda

Here are remarks Senator Leahy made at the Newseum yesterday regarding the Senate Judiciary’s agenda for the 112th Congress.  I have inserted below his comments on promoting innovation and creating jobs. 

Promoting Innovation and Creating Jobs

While we continue our work to protect the taxpayers’ dollars, we must also focus on protecting American jobs.  Last year, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously supported bipartisan efforts to stop online criminals from stealing our Nation’s intellectual property.  Online infringement costs our national economy billions of dollars every year.  Our intellectual property-based businesses are among the most productive in our economy and among its best employers.  We cannot stand by and see them ravaged, and American consumers subjected to counterfeits.  We will renew our effort this year.

Among our top priorities is the Patent Reform Act.  This bipartisan initiative to modernize our patent system has received considerable attention in the last several Congresses.  Updating our antiquated patent system will keep America at the forefront of innovation and invention.  It will help bolster our economy and protect jobs.  And it will do so without adding a penny to the Nation’s deficit.  I am encouraged that Chairman Lamar Smith of the House Judiciary Committee agrees that patent reform is sorely needed.  In the interest of protecting American jobs and economic leadership, Democrats and Republicans need to complete this important legislative effort.

Another area in which Senator Grassley and I have worked together over the years has been in confronting anti-competitive business conduct, especially in agriculture.  In the last two years, the Justice Department has become more aggressive in protecting competition.  The competition workshops held across the country jointly by the Justice and Agriculture Departments were a start, and the steps taken by the Antitrust Division have been good.  Now we hope to build on that as we confront overconcentration in agricultural businesses.  

I also hope Congress will finally repeal the health insurance industry’s exemption from our antitrust laws.  There was bipartisan support for this repeal in the last Congress.  There is no place in our health insurance market for anticompetitive abuses, and repealing this exemption is an important step toward bringing competition to the health insurance market.

There are many other ways in which the Judiciary Committee can contribute to our economic recovery and the expansion of American jobs.  We can strengthen programs like the EB-5 Regional Center Investment Program, which encourages foreign investment and spurs job creation in our state and local economies.  Senator Grassley and I are both acutely aware of the unique challenges facing the agriculture industry, and I believe the Judiciary Committee should take a close look at how we can move forward with important immigration proposals like AgJOBS, and ways to improve visa programs like the H-2A program so that important agricultural industries such as the dairy industry have access to a lawful workforce.  

There are encouraging economic signs, but our national economy is still recovering with too many people still out of work.  In the interest of American workers, Democrats and Republicans need to work together on these measures that buttress key pillars of the American economy.

Innovation Alliance Event “Patents, Innovation and Job Creation: A Virtuous Circle”

An event is coming up on patents, innovation and job creation at the Newseum on Friday January 21.  The keynote speakers are  PTO Director David Kappos and Retired Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Paul Michel. 

Other industry experts and executives will participate in panel discussions.  Below is the news release.

As the U.S. economy struggles with high unemployment, the Innovation Alliance hosts a half-day discussion with inventors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and industry experts on the economic value of patents and a vigorous USPTO. The conference features remarks from David Kappos, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and Paul Michel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Retired Chief Judge. Gene Quinn, founder of IPWatchdog, Inc and Kim Hart, reporter at Politico will moderate morning panels on creating jobs and the impact of patents on the modern innovation economy. Email Innovation Alliance to RSVP

Here is the advertisement with further details.

AUTM U.S. Licensing Survey 2009

AUTM released their 2009 report for technology transfer licensing activities.  Of particular interest is the 596 start-up companies that were created in the middle of an economic recessision.  This Survey suggests that in 2009 Bayh-Dole contributed to growth in an otherwise declining economy, created jobs, and helped fund future research. 

Here are the U.S. Highlights:

Economic Impact

The number of licenses executed increased 5.6 percent, whereas the number of options decreased 3.4 percent. Total licenses and options increased 3.8 percent. The number of startups was essentially unchanged.

Products, startups and licenses/options:

• 658 new commercial products launched

• 5,328 total licenses and options executed, 4,374 of which were licenses

• 596 startup companies formed, 435 of which had their primary place of business in the licensing institution’s home state

• 3,423 startups still operating as of the end of 2009

 

Technology Transfer Pipeline

Research expenditures continued to increase: total research and development spending increased 4.7 percent, federal expenditures increased 1.9 percent, and given the financial downturn, an 8.2 percent surge in industrial research funding was especially significant.

Research expenditures:

• $53.9 billion total sponsored research expenditures

• $33.3 billion in federally funded sponsored research expenditures

• $4.0 billion in industry-sponsored research expenditures

 

Intellectual Property Management

The number of disclosures received increased 1 percent.

Disclosures:

• 20,309 disclosures

AUTM analyzed, in great depth — the areas within which the disclosures fell and was able to categorize 66 percent of the disclosures or 13,376.

Total U.S. patent applications filed decreased almost 4 percent, while new patent applications declined almost 1 percent. However, the number of foreign filings increased significantly, up almost 56 percent.

Patents filed:

• 18,214 total U.S. patent applications

• 12,109 new patent applications

• 1,322 non-U.S. patent applications

The number of patents issued increased nearly 4 percent.

Patents issued:

• 3,417 issued patents

 

License Income

Total license income decreased 32.5 percent in 2009. This decrease is largely due to 2008’s figures including substantial one time payments received by Northwestern University, City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute, Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The decrease was across the board: Running royalties dropped 29.7 percent, cashed-in equity dropped 45 percent, and other income dropped 35.5 percent.

• Total income: $2.3 billion

• Running royalty: $1.6 billion

• Cashed-in equity: $24.4 million

• Other income: $362 million