National Museum of American History.
That Lincoln recognized the value of invention, and the importance of protecting invention, cannot be denied.
"The patent system . . . secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things." A. Lincoln, Feb. 11, 1859.
Presently, the U.S. patent system is bowed under serious strain. Congress has appropriated PTO user fees for other government purposes. The PTO's expedited patent review program has been suspended due to these budget cuts. The PTO's program to open satellite offices around the country (beginning with Detroit) has been likewise suspended. The PTO's need to upgrade its computer system and examination processes are stifled under this budget stress.
For a country that many believe continues to lead the world in creative invention and innovation, the government's budgetary burden on the patent system fails to head the admonition of Lincoln to preserve the patent system, thereby causing the diminution of "the fuel of interest to the fires of genius."