Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Has U.S. Innovation Suffered During the Great Recession?

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on December 11, 2009


That is the assertion that this article at CNN Money today seems to be making, at least.  The article points to a 2.3% decrease in the number of patent filings in the United States in 2009, from 485,500 from 496,886 according to a preliminary estimate by the USPTO.  That would make 2009 the first year since 1996 in which fewer patent applications were filed year over year.

However, does a decrease in patent filings really have anything to do with the amount of innovation that is occurring in the United States?  Isn’t it more likely that the recession has just minimized patent budgets, forcing companies and individuals to more carefully consider alternative means such as trade secrets for protecting the innovations that they are still making?  Any thoughts from our readership?

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