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November 16, 2007


If, as this post suggests, there are "global workload challenges arising from the growth and complexity of patent applications worldwide" then such challenges can hardly be said to stem from US laws and rules (given that both the Japanese and European patent offices have very different rules from the US, and are first-to-file systems. Thus, the attempts in both the USPTO and Congress to reduce the number of applications may be seen as, at best, a misguided treatment of symptoms, rather than a genuine cure for a supposed problem. Moreover, there is, in all likelihood, no problem at all, since the growth in the number of patent applications is not faster than the generally acknowledged growth of actual technical knowledge worldwide.

I think you have a legitimate point in that an application backlog is not unique to the USPTO. While I haven't heard anything recently about application backlog in the PCT, EP or JP Offices, it does seem clear that each of the Trilateral Offices are interested in developing programs that alleviate their individual burdens (such as the collaborative search and examination and the prosecution highway program). As reflected in a number of the other posts here, we are very interested in trying to come up with ideas (other than an expansive and radical new rules package) that would help to alleviate this perceived problem.

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