Kurzweil predicted it accurately
I think it was Ray Kurzweil that said during a presentation at Stanford that the US Patent System was in for some problems. I believe that he had some charts that showed the near exponential growth of the number of patents being filed ... and talked about the fact that reviewing and looking for possible overlap and duplication was going to grow to be near impossible ... unless we end up employing the majority of the US citizens! Well ... looks like things are heating up!
What is cool is that they are actually exploring some new and innovative ways to deal with the review of patents ...
The U.S. Patent Office Wants You. A plan to help overburdened patent examiners solicits online advice from outside sources (read: you), calling on Slashdot's founder for a system to rank user comments. Plus: China blocks LiveJournal. In 27B Stroke 6. [Wired News: Top Stories]