Monday, March 14, 2005

USPTO BEGINS "THE BATTLE OF THE BACKLOG": The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has begun a hiring spree to reduce an expected backlog of 580,000 applications by the end of the year. The Office will hire close to 1,800 patent examiners over the next two years, increasing its current staff of 3,800 examiners by 47 percent.

The patent office processed 304,921 applications last year, 187,170 of which received approval for patent protection (that's 61%).

The hiring project is part of a five-year plan the patent office has implemented to cut down on the time businesses and inventors must wait for a patent. The average wait is about 2½ years from the time a request is filed. But patents for computer technology and biotechnology products are often more complicated and can take up to five years.

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