Patently better: U.S. patent system overhauled in move to speed innovation


When Thomas Edison filed his patent for the phonograph, it was approved in 7 weeks, today the average amount of time for a patent to be approved is three years, with approximately 700,000 that haven't even been opened. With those facts, President Obama laid out the urgent need for patent reform in the U.S. during a signing ceremony for the America Invents Act, the biggest overhaul to America's patent process since 1952.

"Here in America, our creativity has always set us apart, and in order to continue to grow our economy, we need to encourage that spirit wherever we find it," Obama said during the ceremony, which was held at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia.

The plastics industry is one that will hopefully benefit from the legislation, and it was represented in the ceremony in the person of Ellen Kullman, DuPont's CEO and a member of the president's Jobs Council.
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