The number of patents granted by the USPTO increased in the final week of January, jumping from about 2,500 on January 24 to 3,500 on January 31. This is one of only a few weeks since September 2005 that the USPTO has granted more than 3,000 patents in one week. Prior to October 1, 2005 the USPTO regularly granted 3,000-3,500 patents per week. The number of published applications increased slightly to 5,500.
I'm the librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I've been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I believe that the dissemination of patent information is a public good and should be promoted, especially in the education of science and engineering students.