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Why getting a patent so easily doesn't really matter

Patents are at the center of the ongoing struggle between Samsung and Apple. But what does that mean for everyday Americans?
Herb Scribner, Deseret News Modified: May 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm •  Published: May 6, 2014

Apple and Samsung have been caught up in a bitter war over smartphones, style and function.

Or, more specifically, patents.

Both companies are suing each other over using the other’s patents, mostly because smartphones have become identical to each other in recent months, The Associated Press reported. The jury sided with both Samsung and Apple, forcing both companies to repay the other (though, Apple gets the larger sum), the AP reported.

It’s an interesting dilemma, given that it’s easier to get patents now more than ever, especially under the Obama Administration, according to Vox. In fact, Vox found that 92 percent of patent petitions are allowed, much higher than the near 70 percent range between 2008 and 2010. Since Obama has taken office, the numbers have climbed more than 20 percent.

“This means that in 2013, the patent office granted nine patents for every patent application that was rejected and then abandoned by its applicant,” according to Vox's 's Timothy B. Lee. “That 92 percent corrected allowance rate is up from 68 percent in 2009.”

It's not all sunshine and roses for those who want to start a business, though. Entrepreneurial activities have declined in recent years and it's not expected to get much better, according to a new report by the Brookings Institute.

"Dynamism (or, 'the process by which firms continually are born, fail, expand, and contract,' which is typically used as a metric for entrepreneurship) has declined in all 50 states and in all but a handful of the more than 360 U.S. metropolitan areas during the last three decades," Ian Hathaway wrote on Brookings' website.

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