USPTO to Celebrate 225 Years of American Innovation

Agency to host retrospective on evolution of patent landscape following the passage of the Patent Act
April 8, 2015
Press Release 15-07

CONTACT: (Media Only)
Patrick Ross or Paul Fucito
(571) 272-8400 or patrick.ross@uspto.gov or paul.fucito@uspto.gov

Washington – The U.S. Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will commemorate the 225th anniversary of the Patent Act by hosting a series of panel discussions at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday, April 10, 2015. Enacted on April 10, 1790, the Patent Act expanded upon the progress clause in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which promoted “the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries” by further defining the subject matter of a patent as “any useful art, manufacture, engine, machine, or device, or any improvement thereon not before known or used.”

The two panels will feature discussions highlighting the critical role innovation and intellectual property continue to play in the nation’s continued economic success. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee will join former agency directors Gerry Mossinghoff, Q. Todd Dickinson, James Rogan and Jon Dudas for a retrospective discussion about the ways each administration uniquely helped foster innovation and encourage technological transformation during their tenure with the agency as well as its direction moving forward.

The second panel will feature National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) inductees James E. West and Alois A. Langer. West, a National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) 2006 Laureate, co-invented the electret microphone currently used in 90 percent of today's microphones and everyday items such as telephones, hearing aids, camcorders, and multimedia computers.  Langer was instrumental for his role on the medical team that invented the first automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) revolutionizing the way doctors treat heart patients. Candice Elliott, an internationally recognized thought leader, executive, entrepreneur, and technologist in the flat panel display and microelectronic industries will also join the panel. Both panels will be moderated by Louis Foreman, former chair of the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC), CEO of Edison Nation and creator of the Emmy Award-winning PBS television show "Everyday Edisons."

The free program will run from 2:00-5:00 p.m. in the Madison Auditorium and include question and answer sessions for public participation. Space is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information please visit www.uspto.gov/about-us/events/225th-anniversary-patent-act-celebration or contact the Office of Innovation Development at 1-866-767-3848.

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