Patents Pending: Patent Reform for the Innovation Economy

26 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2007

Date Written: May 2007


Congress is in the midst of the patent reform debate. Recently introduced legislation "The Patent Reform Act of 2007" (S. 1145 and H.R. 1908), would provide significant needed reforms to the system. A new ITIF paper examines the issue of patent reform and discusses recommendations. The paper focuses on three areas of reform. The first is patent delay. With over 700,000 pending patent applications in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) it can take 4 years to get a patent. Second, the paper looks at patent quality and the reasons why the PTO issues too many questionable patents. Finally, the paper examines a third problem: the dramatic increase in patent litigation and awards, which impose a significant tax on the U.S. innovation system.

Keywords: patents, innovation

Suggested Citation

Hedlund, Julie A., Patents Pending: Patent Reform for the Innovation Economy (May 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Julie A. Hedlund (Contact Author)

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