entrepreneurial inventors, but also the economic recovery as a whole and even America's global innovation leadership.
Since 1992, Congress has diverted nearly $1 billion in applicant-paid fees already earned by the USPTO to other uses (such as to help pay for the 2010 census), leaving the patent office understaffed, under-resourced, and wholly unable to deal with the threefold increase in patent applications over the last twenty years. As a result, the patent office now takes an average of 3.7 years to rule on a patent. As of January 2011, the total number of patent applications waiting for approval was a staggering 1.2 million--triple the number just ten years ago.
Click here to read an excerpt in the Harvard Business Review Press.