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Patent politics

2 min read

Battles rage behind bureaucratic facade

Nearly two centuries after opening, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is under fire. Multimillion-dollar disputes over creative rights have led to calls for massive changes to its system, with little consensus on how to fix it.

Staking a claim
Companies are making a lucrative business of buying patents, saying their work helps protect America's pioneering spirit. Others argue that they unfairly exploit the loopholes of an overworked patent system in a form of legalized extortion.
Invention intervention
Lawyers, companies, inventors and politicians all agree that the nation's patent system is in desperate need of reform, citing concerns about proliferating litigation, questionable licenses and a potential decline in U.S. competitiveness.
Legislating creativity
Congress is weighing legislation that would grant a patent to the first person to submit the paperwork, a common standard in other countries. It has become a flash point for everything that's right and wrong with the U.S. patent system.

Battles rage behind bureaucratic facade

Nearly two centuries after opening, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is under fire. Multimillion-dollar disputes over creative rights have led to calls for massive changes to its system, with little consensus on how to fix it.

Staking a claim
Companies are making a lucrative business of buying patents, saying their work helps protect America's pioneering spirit. Others argue that they unfairly exploit the loopholes of an overworked patent system in a form of legalized extortion.
Invention intervention
Lawyers, companies, inventors and politicians all agree that the nation's patent system is in desperate need of reform, citing concerns about proliferating litigation, questionable licenses and a potential decline in U.S. competitiveness.
Legislating creativity
Congress is weighing legislation that would grant a patent to the first person to submit the paperwork, a common standard in other countries. It has become a flash point for everything that's right and wrong with the U.S. patent system.