Fixing the Patent Office
Mark A. Lemley
Stanford Law School
NBER Working Paper No. w18081
How can we allow patent examiners to effectively distinguish between patentable and unpatentable inventions, without slowing the process to a crawl or wasting a bunch of money? This essay reviews the recent literature and considers a number of proposals and their limitations. It concludes that the system can be improved, but that we are unlikely to solve the problem of bad patents altogether. The focus in reform discussions should be on understanding and changing applicant and examiner incentives rather than simply spending money.
Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Date posted: May 19, 2012
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