An anonymous reader writes "The numbers are in, and the US Patent Office granted 219,614 patents last year, which is 31% higher than in 2009 and 27% higher than any year in history. This wasn't just a marginal increase in patents being approved, but a major leap. US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and USPTO director David Kappos have both stated that one of their goals is to reduce the backlog in patent approvals, and it appears that the way they're doing so is by approving more patents, more quickly with less scrutiny — with a large percentage of them being software patents. This may decrease the backlog at the Patent Office, but seems likely to increase the backlog in the court system as lawsuits are filed over a bunch of these new patents."
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