18 Pages Posted: 19 May 2012
Date Written: May 2012
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.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Lemley, Mark A., Fixing the Patent Office (May 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18081. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2062714