“The backlog is indeed our biggest problem.” ~ USPTO Director David Kappos
CBS News ran a story on Sunday on the growing backlog at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Since the federal patent agency was created in 1790, the U.S Patent and Trademark Office has issued 7,752,677 patents.
Now, with an average wait time of 36 months and a backlog of 700,000 applications, Patent Office Director David Kappos says speeding up the process will help the economy. “The backlog is indeed our biggest problem. It represents innovations trapped in this agency that otherwise could be creating jobs.”
Kappos wants to cut the waiting time from 36 to 20 months and the backlog in half but he needs more money to hire an additional 1200 patent examiners and update computers. “It’s no taxpayer dollars at all– all the fees we collect come from patent applicants.”
Congress sets the fees charged by the patent office. The legislative branch also does not permit the patent office keep all $2 billion in its annual revenue, by diverting $200 million dollars a year for other federal budget items. Legislation that would end fee diversion and empower USPTO to adjust its own fees is pending.
Many say they would pay higher application fees if it meant a more functional patent office.
To see the full story, see here.