Patent Reform Bill Won’t Clean Up Patent Mess

Patent Reform Bill Won’t Clean Up Patent Mess

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Ars Technica analyzes the Patent Reform Act that has passed the House and is being debated in the Senate. Unfortunately for those longing for real, meaningful patent reform, the bill comes up short in some significant ways. Despite the heated rhetoric on both sides, it is unclear if the legislation will do much to fix the most serious flaws in the patent system.

A series of appeals court rulings in the 1990s greatly expanded patentable subject matter, making patents on software, business methods, and other abstract concepts unambiguously legal for the first time.

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The U.S. Patent Backlog Keeps Growing

The U.S. Patent Backlog Keeps Growing

Even with its increased hiring estimates of 1,200 patent examiners each year for the next 5 years, the US Patent and Trademark Office patent application backlog is expected to increase to over 1.3 million at the end of fiscal year 2011 the Government Accounting Office reported today.

The USPTO has also estimated that if it were able to hire 2,000 patent examiners per year in fiscal year 2007 and each of the next 5 years, the backlog would continue to increase by about 260,000 applications, to 953,643 at the end of fiscal year 2011, the GAO said.

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