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Wait, Backlog Is Bad?

In the Mercury News, US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke writes that the "patent system desperately needs to be reformed to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change and innovation," adding that "today's innovators are curing diseases and ensuring our safety — sorting through genetic code, developing nanotechnologies and vastly improving our quality of life." But the current process has led to a backlog of 800,000 applications. Locke says that he has told David Kappos, the director of the Patent & Trademark Office, "to adopt an aggressive agenda that will reduce processing delays by two-thirds."