A century later, Thomas Edison was motivated by our unique patent system to invent the record player, motion pictures, the light bulb, and an electronic voting machine for Congress. But Big Business is opposed to small inventors, because new inventions are a threat to the status quo. For example, manufacturing the automobile caused horse-and-buggy companies to go out of business. So Big Business tries to pass laws to take rights away from small inventors, and deprive the future Thomas Edisons and Alexander Graham Bells of the incentives they need to work hard on new inventions. Motivated by our patent system, Thomas Edison tried and failed 10,000 times at building a workable lightbulb before he succeeded. He said “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.”
In 2011 big corporations pushed the American Invents Act through Congress to grant patents to inventors who are the first to file, rather than those who are the first to invent. But the Constitution protects inventors, not people who happen to file paperwork first. Be on guard against future attempts by Big Business to weaken the rights of small inventors. Our future prosperity depends on our traditional patent system.
Listen to the radio commentary here: