Patents, quite simply, are part of the engine that powers our nation's economy.
From the standpoint of the business community, patents are of utmost importance,
since they provide the necessary protection for newly developed products or processes.
And at times, basic inventions (protected by patents) have created new industries
and given rise to new companies. Some examples: xerography and the Xerox Corporation
and instant photography and the Polaroid Corporation.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame® is full of examples of inventions
that became the basis for large companies. In the 1920's and 1930's for instance,
Hall of Fame inductee Waldo Semon developed and patented plasticized polyvinyl
chloride (PVC) and this sparked the development of the multi-billion dollar vinyl
The history of the U.S. patent system is laced with the names of inventors
who contributed to our country's economic progress: Eli Whitney, Samuel Morse,
Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Gertrude Elion and George Washington
Carver, as examples. These inventors, and others perhaps not as well known, have
through their work changed the course of human history.
And central to their work and innovative genius is a patent system that provides
protection-while nurturing creative thinking, scientific problem-solving and technology
development that will pave the way for our future.
For more information, visit the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office at www.uspto.gov.