The technology boom of the late 1990s may finally be over, and no, we’re not talking about stock prices. The growth rate for new patent applications reportedly has fallen off considerably this year, which could undercut productivity growth and thus further undermine investor confidence in the economy.

The number of patent applications in the U.S. had been increasing by about 10% per year since 1996, but this year the increase probably will only be about 1.3%, according to The Financial Times. Forbe’s article here.