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SPECIAL SUMMARY REPORT

THE GREAT DEBATE

FIRST-TO-INVENT vs. FIRST-TO-FILE

and the

INTERNATIONAL HARMONIZATION TREATY





TABLE OF CONTENTS

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Important
Instructions
for: Duplication,
Distribution, Use of
Information


Introduction

I.
Credits


II.
Foreword


III.
WSJ Article


IV.
Synopsis-Europe
Legislation


V.
Synopsis-U.S.
Legislation


VI.
Key Questions
#1 / #2 / #3 / #4
#5 / #6 / #7 / #8
#9 / #10 / #11 / #12 #13 / #14 / #15

VII.
Arguments & Rebuttals
At-A-Glance


VIII.
Closing Comments &
Recommendations


IX.
Notes



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  • IV. KEY QUESTIONS: #2
    HAS THE U.S. "FIRST-TO-INVENT" SYSTEM PROVEN TO BE SUCCESSFUL, AND WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OR BENEFITS OVER THE LAST 200 YEARS FROM THE DATE OF INCEPTION?

    For 200 years, the unique patent laws of the United States (referred to as "First-to-Invent" or U.S. patent system from this point forward) have thus been designed to reward patents to the first inventor, and have been a prime motivator for innovation and the development of commercially successful inventions in the United States.

    "At the time of the Nation's birth, 90% of all workers were farm workers. Today, only 4 percent of the American work force is agricultural, feeding the United States and exporting the balance of its production to the rest of the world. The change from an agricultural to an industrial economy was accomplished through technology and innovation in both the marketplace and the intermediate processes of production and distribution. Innovation and technological change are responsible for much of U.S. economical growth." (4)

    The U.S. patent system has been the most successful in the world, with the "First-to-Invent" patent system playing a major role in the American inventor's productivity and in the success of their innovations.

      "Korekiyo Takahashi, an Official of the Japanese Government, reported in early 1900 after a visit to the United States:

      "We have looked about to see what nations are the greatest so that we can be like them. We have asked ourselves, what is it that makes the United States such a great nation? And we investigated and found that it was patents, and we will have patents."

    With the hope for profit as the major incentive to innovate, the U.S. patent system has made possible the success of significant breakthrough products such as the Polaroid, the Xerox machine, air conditioning, the airplane, audio tape recorder, helicopter (refer to Question #3 for a list of "82 Important Innovations by U.S. Small Firms in the Twentieth Century" provided by U.S. Small Business Administration).

    For many decades, the U.S. has dominated the rest of the world in innovation to the point that in almost every field of industry today the technology is based largely on inventions which originated in the U.S.

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