Patents: An Inventor's Insurance Policy

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In 2011, President Obama signed the America Invents Act, a law that overhauled the patent system and opened four new patent offices.

Hope Shimabuku directs one of them: The Texas Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office. She tells The Takeaway that the new law speeds the invention timetable, from the first brainstorm to a finished, patented product.

"A lot of people are starting to understand the value of patents and how important a role [they] play in innovation, and driving innovation," she says.