August 16, 2011

Businesses split on merits of overhauling #patent process

But even as the office passed that milestone, by its own estimate 700,000 patent applications lay awaiting review.

The U.S. patent system has changed little since 1952, and supporters of legislation to overhaul it say that the measure could create high-paying jobs and protect U.S. businesses' advantage in high-tech and other industries. Both houses of Congress back versions of the America Invents Act, which would bring the U.S. patent system closer in line with other countries, and President Barack Obama has held up patent restructuring as a bipartisan issue, an increasingly rare creature in Washington.

But with the Senate expected to hold a final vote on the bill early next month, many inventors and small businesses worry that it would give big companies an unfair leg up.

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