Because the strength of patent rights gauges the incentive to invest, America’s future is threatened by the weakening of those rights. Starting in 2006 and continuing to today, excessive and uncoordinated incursions by the Supreme Court, the Congress and the patent office have enfeebled patent rights. The American Patent System, previously the best in the world, but now ranked 12th, is failing, patenting is being avoided by many, and investments are now flowing away from inventive start-ups and away from America to more secure opportunities elsewhere. Halting this decline has become a national priority. But to revive patents, we must first understand how and why the system was gutted.