Patent

The One Word that Will Help Restore the U.S. Patent System

Based on the age of many of us in the room, President Reagan was probably the first president many of us remember. And I mention this because we need another President Reagan—another person like that, who sees the power of the patent system. Upon taking Office, President Reagan told the then leaders at the patent office that the backlog of unexamined patent applications was unacceptable and he wanted it brought down to 18 months in his first term. The leaders at the patent office told him that that was simply not possible. That’s how bad the backlog was then. And then President Reagan and his advisors asked whether it would be possible to reduce the backlog to an average pendency of 18 months within two terms, assuming he would be given two terms. And they said, “yes, we think we can do that within two terms.”  And they didn’t quite get it done, but they got really, really close. They got to around 18.2 or 18.3 months average pendency by the end of President Reagan’s second term. And it was because President Reagan invested in the patent office.

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