Fixing the Patent Office

Mark A. Lemley

Stanford Law School

May 2012

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

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Date posted: May 19, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Lemley, Mark A., Fixing the Patent Office (May 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18081. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2062714

Contact Information

Mark A. Lemley (Contact Author)
Stanford Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

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