At a time when America is trying to regain its economic footing, we need to ensure that new innovation is taking place at a rapid place that can help pull the country out of tough times. However, it’s hard to move forward on that front when there’s a major backlog of patent applications at the USPTO, slowing down the process through which major and important new innovations can be granted patents.  It looks like President Obama is finally realizing just how important patent reform is.Kim Hart of The Hill reported late yesterday afternoon that President Barack Obama revealed his opinion on the antiquated U.S. patent system at the Forum on Modernizing Government:

“’Believe it or not, in our patent office — now, this is embarrassing — this is an institution responsible for protecting and promoting innovation — our patent office receives more than 80 percent of patent applications electronically, then manually prints them out, scans them, and enters them into an outdated case management system,’ Obama said…”
“This is one of the reasons why the average processing time for a patent is roughly three years,” Obama added.
Now if our own President is embarrassed by our patent system, perhaps it is time for a change. Patent reform should address up-to-date technology that can handle the number of patent applications that are filed each month and should be able deal with the backlog of applications.Congress needs to act this year to pass patent reform legislation that will bring USPTO technology into the 21st Century and up to speed with the latest, cutting edge technology. Only then, can innovation prosper and help to improve our economy.

For more information on the U.S. patent system and the USPTO, visit www.uspto.gov.

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