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Statement from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank Following Final Senate Passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank issued the following statement today on the Senate’s final passage of H.R.1249, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the largest overhaul of the nation’s patent system and the United States Patent and Trademark Office in more than half a century.

“Encouraging American innovation and competitiveness is critical to our efforts to create new jobs and rebuild the U.S. economy. By promoting clearer, more certain and more consistent patent rights, this bipartisan legislation gives America’s inventors the intellectual property guarantees they need to raise funds, invest in research and development and launch technologies that will help them expand and hire more workers. Reforming the U.S. patent system to support the acceleration of American innovation and job creation and drive business growth was one of former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke’s top priorities, and I am honored to have been able to see it through. Without the strong leadership of USPTO Director David Kappos, this important achievement would not have been possible – I offer him my sincerest thanks.

“I also want to thank Senate and House Judiciary Committee Chairmen Patrick Leahy and Lamar Smith for their bipartisan leadership in ensuring that the President can sign the America Invents Act into law at this critical time. The ingenuity of the American people has the power to boost our economic recovery, and today’s passage of historic patent reform is an important step toward empowering our nation’s innovators and job creators. Tonight, President Obama will underscore his focus on job creation by laying out a series of bipartisan proposals that Congress can act on immediately to put more people back to work and put more money in their pockets. If we follow the leadership displayed by the Senate today and continue working together to act on the President’s proposals, we can strengthen the recovery and ensure sustainable, long-term growth.”