Inching Toward A Borderless Patent

Bruce A. Lehman has a vision: a new era in which patents will be protected from global rip-offs. The tough-talking commissioner of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office wants to tear down barriers to American inventors in the patent systems of Japan, Europe, and the U.S. He and other patent experts even imagine a future in which an application in one nation's patent office could garner an inventor worldwide protection. The result, he says, would be a big boost for U.S. competitiveness.

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