Enabling Innovation

On Thursday, the Senate approved a sweeping overhaul of the American patent system that is expected to reduce litigation and alleviate delays in the processing of applications. The reforms change the process for determining the rightful recipient of a patent, giving priority to inventors who are “first to file” an application rather than those who are “first to invent.” While this provision will greatly simplify the approval process, it could disadvantage small businesses and others without the resources to file applications. The patent office will also gain the right to set its own fees, which should allow it to increase revenue and devote additional resources to a growing backlog of applications.

If these reforms succeed in speeding the patent-approval process, it could further accelerate the rapid pace of innovation in information and communications technology – the bedrock of the media and advertising industries.

Fighting Backlog in Patents, Senate Approves Overhaul

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