Today, 225 years after the Constitution was drafted, we can look back and see how the protection of individual property through our patent system has helped our country grow. In 2012 alone, there were more than 576,763 U.S. patents applications filed and 276,788 patents issued. These numbers don't include the tens of thousands of patents that were bought, sold, and licensed in the private market each year. Not surprisingly, an ever-increasing number of patents are challenged through litigation. In 2012, almost 5000 patent infringement cases were filed. Litigation expenses can easily cost each party in a dispute millions of dollars, not including the social cost of such litigation. With this increasing number of new patents, and resulting patent disputes, and the extreme costs in prosecuting or defending a patent, it is essential that we develop faster, fairer, and more efficient, alternatives to resolve patent disputes. And that is what we are addressing here today at this symposium.



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