Innovation has long been recognized as the key factor supporting US economic growth and competitiveness. A critical element of the infrastructure facilitating product development and commercialization is the system that protects intellectual property and encourages its widespread adoption and implementation. The current framework that facilitates this process includes the LeahySmith America Invents Act (AIA) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The AIA and PTAB reduce the need for and cost of patent litigation, reducing transaction costs and generating substantial economic benefits. Potential expansion of the AIA to further enhance its applicability could lead to notable additional gains.
In some ways, 2016 was a tumultuous year. It will likely be remembered for a divisive Presidential election, but also a record high stock market. Terror attacks in several nations, but global enjoyment of the Olympic Games. For the economy, 2016 brought both continued improvement and notable changes, including long-awaited decisions from the Federal Reserve and OPEC.