Looking at the recent decline in patent applications from US businesses, this CNNMoney article claims that innovation is the latest victim of the recession.
The article examines several peripheral issues related to the decline in filings, including the application backlog at the Patent and Trademark Office. Calling it a "vicious cycle," the article notes that the backlog operates to "further discourage patent filers."
Pointing to the pending patent reform legislation, USPTO Director David Kappos offers a fix:
"If we're able to get patent reform through, we absolutely can take processing times way down and get innovations through to the marketplace." (emphasis mine)
The article even notes the Director Kappos thinks the legislation could "help reduce the average wait time to as little as one year."