coondoggie writes "Even with its increased hiring estimates of 1,200 patent examiners each year for the next 5 years, the US Patent and Trademark Office patent application backlog is expected to increase to over 1.3 million at the end of fiscal year 2011 the Government Accounting Office reported today. The USPTO has also estimated that if it were able to hire 2,000 patent examiners per year in fiscal year 2007 and each of the next 5 years, the backlog would continue to increase by about 260,000 applications, to 953,643 at the end of fiscal year 2011, the GAO said. Despite its recent increases in hiring, the agency has acknowledged that it cannot hire its way out of the backlog and is now focused on slowing the growth of the backlog instead of reducing it. This too is but one of the goals of the Patent Reform Act currently making the rounds in the US Senate."
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