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Wilbur Wright in his airplane during flight in France, 1908. Photo: Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images

The U.S. is tied for 12th place in a Chamber of Commerce ranking of countries' patent system strength. Law professor and senior scholar at George Mason's Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Adam Mossoff, told Axios that the U.S. has "a serious, systemic problem in our patent system."

Why it matters: Just two years ago, the U.S. was ranked number one, and then fell to 10th place last year. Mossoff says this "shows a pattern that we are falling, and it can get worse...we will suffer more consequences in slower economic growth, less jobs, and worse quality of life overall."

"What we're talking about is...the legal system that made possible Thomas Edison and his invention of the lightbulb, and the Wright Brothers' invention of the airplane...all of the miracle technology we have today and the miracle medical treatments we have today were brought to us by the U.S. patent system."
— Adam Mossoff
  • The Trump administration "has shown some very promising signs" that it takes this situation seriously, Mossoff said, and they "should...because we are talking about the very issues that President Trump and his administration constantly focus upon."
  • The Global Innovation Policy Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has Singapore ranked as number one, followed by France and Germany.

Go deeper

30 mins ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker

University of Michigan reaches $490M settlement in sex abuse case

Jon Vaughn, a former University of Michigan and NFL football player, speaks at a press conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., in June 2021. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The University of Michigan on Wednesday reached a $490 million settlement with over a thousand survivors who allege that they were sexually assaulted by a former physician in the school's athletic department.

Driving the news: "It's been a long and challenging journey and these survivors have refused to remain silent," attorney Parker Stinar said Wednesday.