We've already noted early on this year that the USPTO suddenly seemed to be ramping up
its patent approval rate this year at an amazingly rapid clip. And now comes the news that we've already passed the number of patents granted last year
and are rapidly approaching the highest number of patents approved in a year (we should hit it within a couple weeks)... and then we'll still have two and a half months left. As Patently-O notes:
This dramatic increase in the rate of granting patents is impressive -- especially in light of the fact that during this time, the USPTO eliminated examiner overtime hours for an extended period of time and hired only a handful of new examiners.
In other words, it's exactly what we feared
. Under the Kappos' regime at the USPTO, they've decided that the number one problem isn't bad patents, but the time it takes to get a patent. So in order to fix that, it looks like they're basically approving a lot more patents, with a lot less examining. That means, a hell of a lot more bad patents are hitting the market this year. Even if you support the patent system, I can't understand how anyone can not be horrified by this result. Rushing through more patents doesn't help anyone -- except the holders of bad patents. This is dangerous to American innovation -- the one thing that the USPTO is supposed to be helping.