At Tech Summit, a Debate Over the Slow Patent Process

The U.S. patent process takes an average 44 months -- a woefully slow rate for the rapidly evolving technology sector. That's just one of the challenges being tackled at the first-ever Technology Policy Summit in San Jose. CNBC's Silicon Valley Bureau Chief Jim Goldman reports.

Tech Leaders Talk Policy
Tech Leaders Talk Policy   

Goldman, who writes the Tech Check blog, said that a gaggle of CEOs, politicos and academics have flocked to the summit to consider matters such as the 300,000 patents that were processed in 2006 -- while another 100,000 applications were caught in a backlog.

One massive stumbling block to reform efforts: Goldman told "Morning Call" that while tech firms like Intel,Hewlett-Packard and even Microsoft have said that the patent process is "broken" and needs a revamp "now," Big Pharma likes current patent laws just fine.

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