Job-Creating Patents

In an Op-Ed piece at the New York Times I came across via Patently-O, Paul Michel and Henry Nothhaft argue for the infusion of $1 billion into the Patent Office.  What I noticed most in this article was their citation that each patent issued by the Patent Office “is associated with 3 to 10 new jobs.”  Now, clearly, this doesn’t hold true for every patent.  But, on average, this is a startling number.

The patent system both flourishes and flounders under the influence of money.  Costs – those associated with government filing fees and attorney’s fees – are the largest reason to not pursue a patent.  The authors thus propose a tax-credit to offset those costs.  If such a tax-credit spurred the application of a few more patents, and a few of those patent applications matured to patents, a few more jobs would be created, and a few more tax dollars would be returned to the economy.

Additionally, they argue that a billion-dollar investment in the Patent Office to overhaul the computer system and hire and train more employees would drastically improve the patent backlog, thus allowing possibly game-changing applications to enter the market sooner.  New patents allow small companies to obtain financing (provided it’s available) and grow, in turn hiring employees, striking deals with other businesses, providing investment and earning potential to the public, etc.

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