Terratec’s AggreScreed was named one the top innovations by the magazine Equipment World . The AggreScreed allows a contractor to lay a gravel road of a set depth without the cost and time of placing survey stakes. This invention saves contractors time and money by eliminating survey costs, reducing wasted aggregate, and eliminating rework. This is exactly the sort of technological innovation for which the patent system was designed. Unfortunately, it took Terratec around four years to obtain its patent. This in not untypical and it points out that the US patent system is broken, but not for the reasons suggested by those people pushing patent reform. The Patent Office is hopelessly backlogged but Congress will not fully fund it. The Supreme Court’s recent decision have increased the uncertainty over whether a patent will be held valid or approved by the patent office. We need real patent reform that provides the Patent Office the funding they need to do their vital job and provides an objective standard for which inventions are patentable.
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