National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction
Under Secretary of Commerce & Director of the USPTO David Kappos
May 2, 2012
Remarks introducing posthumous induction of Steve Jobs
Wow. What a terrific evening. On behalf of President Obama, Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, and my 11,000 colleagues at the United States Patent and Trademark Office—congratulations to Invent Now on 40 history-making years of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
And to all of this year’s inductees, thank you for sharing your conviction, your confidence, and your curiosity with our small planet. By improving our understanding of the world around us, you have rewritten textbook fundamentals—and inspired a new generation of thinkers to explore unfamiliar terrain.
Fundamentally, your work showcases a monumental display of American exceptionalism. And much like the thousands of patent and trademark applications the USPTO examines each and every day, your spirit serves as a reminder that our nation continues to be built by those willing to challenge traditions—willing to push the boundaries of convention and willing to test new limits in design and thought.
It’s why we’ve made investing in the classroom—where innovators of all stripes get their start—a top priority, by equipping schools with the IP curricula necessary to cultivate the brightest minds of tomorrow. And it’s why the Obama administration has worked to ensure that access to such world class STEM education remains affordable for all students—from the playground to the university lab. Because ultimately, we know that the curiosity to experiment will navigate us through the toughest roads ahead, inspire the next great industries and promote the next wave of jobs.
At the end of the day, these efforts don’t just boast scientific or historic achievement—they fundamentally retool the way we interact with the world around us. It is through a firm belief in the transformative power of American creativity that this administration has made investments in research and experimentation a priority; and it’s why President Obama signed our historic patent reform law that makes it easier to protect and market breakthrough technologies.
That’s why it’s an honor to present to you our final inductee for the evening, Steve Jobs.
While he recognized the criticality of patents and trademarks in unleashing innovation—Steve Jobs also embodied a fundamental truth about invention: that design is not just what a product looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. By marrying intuition and intelligent performance, Steve Jobs made the computer more personal. By coupling entertainment with elegance, he made music more accessible. By uniting telecommunications with a touch screen he put the Internet in our pockets.
And by daring the world to live every day to the fullest, he inspired all of us to stay hungry. From the iconic Apple logo, to the creative insights behind Pixar, to the stunning operating system behind the iPad—each Steve Jobs patent and each Steve Jobs trademark signifies a significant step forward; not just for the man we honor tonight, or his business enterprise, but for the innovation, ingenuity and inspiration they share with the rest of the world.