Editor's Take:

The protracted patent-reform initiative on Capitol Hill pits the tech giants against the pharmaceutical giants (with small inventors siding with the drug companies), but the broken patent system affects everyone. Courts are weighed down with infringement suits, too many companies have been hit with damages disproportionate to the violation, and the U.S. patent-approval system is out of whack with much of the industrialized world's. Too much time and money is spent in this country on patent litigation -- time and money that could be spent on R&D, for example -- and now is a good time for the lobbyists on all sides to find room for compromise and push a patent-reform bill through. -- Caron Carlson, SmartBrief contributing editor

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