Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) has reintroduced the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act to Congress alongside co-sponsor Chris Coons (D-DE), receiving praise from C4IP’s board.
In January, C4IP interviewed Sen. Tillis as part of a Q&A series. Here’s an excerpt of what he had to say at that time about how strong IP rights foster innovation and economic prosperity.
C4IP: Over the past 150 years, we have transformed from a mostly agrarian-based economy to become the world’s largest and most diversified economy, and much of our economic success is a direct result of American inventions, innovations, and creative output. What role do you believe intellectual property policies play in incentivizing and supporting invention, innovation, and creativity?
Sen. Tillis: As you know, the importance of IP to the U.S. can be traced back to the founding of our very country. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the enumerated power “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to author and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writing and discoveries.” This constitutional commitment to intellectual property rights is unique to most other countries. Our founding fathers recognized not just the importance and value in the sciences and useful arts, but they also recognized the importance and value in their protection.
Intellectual property and strong IP rights are fundamental to incentivizing the growth of innovation, which often times require substantial investment. And in turn it is this growth of innovation which fuels the growth of our economy and allows the U.S. to remain the global leader. We must continue to foster innovation through strong IP rights.
C4IP: North Carolina has a robust innovative industry sector, how important is this to the state’s economy and jobs for your constituents?
Sen. Tillis: North Carolina’s innovative industries are incredibly important to our state’s overall economy and to ensuring jobs for our constituents. The Research Triangle Park is a premier innovation hub which has enriched North Carolina’s economy for decades. North Carolina’s commitment to innovation has helped to create, grow, and attract some of the most innovative companies in the world. The success of RTP is in great part due to the close proximity of top research universities such as North Carolina State University in Raleigh, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University in Durham. These universities draw students to the region who recognize North Carolina’s commitment to innovation, and choose to stay in North Carolina to start their careers and their own businesses. The work accomplished and innovations achieved within North Carolina not only benefit our great state, but they also benefit our entire country and ultimately the world.