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U.S. Patent Reform Deadline Leading to Massive Backlog

By Mari Serebrov
Washington Editor

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The patent backlog at the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is likely to get worse before it gets better, especially as the March 16, 2013, deadline approaches for switching from the current first-to-invent system to the new first-to-file process laid out in the America Invents Act (AIA).

A backlog of more than 700,000 patent applications was one of the driving forces behind the passage of the AIA last year, as the PTO blamed its slowed review process on Congress diverting much-needed patent fees to other programs. (See BioWorld Today, March 10, 2011.)

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