Nies Lecture Number
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.
Lemley, Mark, "Can the Patent Office be Fixed" (2011). The Honorable Helen Wilson Nies Memorial Lecture. Paper 3.