‘Patent filings in the United States have been increasing’
But as result of AIA and similarly as with suits filed, the number of patent applications filed in the US is now largely immaterial. It’s not about the number of applications filed, but rather how many original applications are filed. Because of first to file, applicants are now forced to file multiple applications in process of developing their invention as opposed to the past under first to invent where inventors were more likely to wait until the invention was complete before filing. We are not aware of any credible study that indicates the size of the affect and from what we can tell the PTO has no such data publicly available on their web site, but even if applicants now file only twice as many applications per invention which would seem to be underestimated, the number of original applications filed would have dropped by almost half. Worse yet, if the small entity portion of issued patents is a reliable gauge, small entity original applications may have fallen to one tenth of what they have been historically. However you slice it, thanks to AIA, case law and administrative changes, the patent system is in crisis.
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