Plastics have made possible literally hundreds of thousands of inventions over the past five decades, placing the material at the heart of many patents. On Sept. 16, President Obama signed the America Invents Act. It represents historic patent reform legislation that proponents of the law claim will help American entrepreneurs and businesses bring their inventions to market sooner, creating new businesses and new jobs. It is also supposed to help convert ideas developed in universities and research labs into commercialized products faster, thus expanding the economy.
Considered the most significant reform of the Patent Act since 1952 (additional coverage here), the law promises to expedite the process by which American companies and inventors currently can become entangled in red tape, suffer costly delays and experience unnecessary litigation. It promises to let them focus on innovation and job creation. While America Invents may be popular among some types of inventors, it doesn't have the typical American inventor on Main Street shouting for joy. On a recent Wednesday evening I gave a presentation on molds, molding and plastics technology to the Arizona Inventor's Association.
The group that gathers at these twice-monthly meetings is made up of regular people, many with regular jobs to support their inventing habit. Many of them invent products involving plastic parts, so I try to help them out when I can. I've written about many of these inventors, and the things they come up with are just amazing....