Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

USPTO Backlog and President Obama’s Call For Innovation.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on January 28, 2011

This recent article by Paula Reid, CBS Evening News Online Contributor, highlights the backlog in patent applications at the USPTO relative to the recent State of the Union speech.

In his State of the Union, President Obama challenged America’s scientists and engineers to “out-innovate” global competition.

But America’s ability to drive economic growth and job creation through innovation is currently hampered by an enormous backlog at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The Patent and Trademark Office grants patents and registers trademarks needed to secure investment capital, build companies, and bring new products and services to the marketplace. But according to data from the Patent Office, there is currently a backlog of 1.2 million [patent applications], over 700,000 which have never even been opened.

The article correctly observes that merely “out-innovating” is not enough for the U.S. to be globally competitive.   The availability of rapid and strong intellectual property protection of new inventions and innovations is also critical to competitiveness. 

Worth a read, if you have a few minutes to spare.  Check it out!

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