On Monday, Senator Leahy highlighted President Obama's Chamber of Commerce remarks in which he called for a need to reform our patent system. We're quick to recognize that patents - along with other forms of intellectual property - are a crucial incentive to innovate; in other words, they facilitate the work required to turn an idea into a usable product.
Senator Leahy's statement also reminded us of something that we often take for granted, however: the importance of policies that spur new ideas. Innovation is cyclical. Biopharmaceutical research companies don't rest on their laurels when a new medicine gains FDA approval and reaches the market. They dig in their heels and get to work, whether it's developing a product no one has ever dreamt of before or turning an existing technology into something much better than previously thought.
Just as we celebrate today's medical breakthroughs, we need a reliable patent system that helps to stimulate tomorrow's big ideas.