Nies Lecture Number

Fourteenth

Presentation Date

2011

Abstract

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) faces primarily two problems in promoting innovation policy. On the one hand, the USPTO must contend with a backlog of around 700,000 patent applications that have not yet been examined. This may result in three- and five-year waits before the USPTO renders a decision on an application, which may prove detrimental for certain sectors in which technology develops at a more rapid pace, such as the software industry. On the other hand, the USPTO has granted a not insignificant number of patents of questionable validity and quality.

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