The Patent Reform Bill that everybody has been waiting for has been signed into law. President Obama visited Thomas Jefferson High School For Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, and signed the American Invents Act into law.
This bill changes the United States patent system from a “first to invent” system with a “first inventor to file” system. So now the race is on to the patent office.
In addition the new law enables the patent office to retain the necessary funds to employ a staff of patent examiners that can reduce the backlog of patents in the patent office.
Currently close to 1.2 million patent applications are pending in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and 700,000 of those have yet to even been looked at, and there are only about 6,000 patent examiners.
Because of this backlog a patent application can take up to 3 years from the time that it is filed to be approved. It is believed that if the patents were granted sooner the technology could generate more jobs and create more products that can help society in general.
Whether or not granting a patent sooner will translate into jobs and a better America only time will tell. President Obama thinks It will and when he signed the bill into law he said:
“Somewhere in that stack of applications could be the next technological breakthrough, the next miracle drug,” “We should be making it easier and faster to turn new ideas into jobs.”