By the President of the United States of America
As the progress of science and technology is fundamental to the economic and social welfare of our society, so is the patent system essential to the advance of science and technology. This relationship is recognized in the first Article of our Constitution, which empowers the Congress "to promote the progress of science and useful arts" by securing for limited times to inventors an exclusive right to their discoveries.
Established in accordance with this constitutional mandate, our patent system dates back to the very beginning of our Nation. Since George Washington signed the first patent act into law on April 10, 1790, the patent system has encouraged our dramatic progress from a small agrarian Nation to a great technological and industrial world leader. From the cotton gin, telephone, and electric lamp, through the transistor, modern medicines and space vehicles, the history of our creativity, ingenuity and determination is reflected in the records of our patent system.
The incentive offered by patent protection to invent and innovate has created new markets, new industries and more jobs. As a consequence, a strong and reliable patent system is a substantial element in our efforts to develop alternative energy sources, increase our productivity, improve our environment, and solve the technological challenges which will confront us in the future.
In honor of the important role played by inventors in promoting progress in the useful art% and in recognition of the invaluable contribution of inventors to the welfare of our people, the 96th Congress, by House Joint Resolution 337, has designated February 11, 1981, as "National Inventors' Day." Because February 11 is the birthday of Thomas Alva Edison, this Nation's most prolific inventor, it is an especially appropriate day on which to honor one of our most valuable national resources, the inventive genius of our people.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the people of the United States to honor all inventors by observing February 11, 1981, as National Inventors' Day, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:01 p.m., January 14, 1981]