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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.

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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