Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Patent Reform Act of 2011, which means it will go on to the Senate floor for consideration. Senator Grassley of Iowa was a co-sponsor of the bill, and he talked about his reasons for introducing the bill in his weekly address:
I agree that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (or “USPTO”) has issues that need to be addressed. It’s currently taking a shade under three years for the average patent to issue, according to the official statistics of the USPTO. The enormous 721,000+ backlog of pending applications is the primary problem, but patent quality is an issue too.
Once I’ve had a chance to study the Senate bill, I’ll post my comments and call my Congressional team.