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Entrance Ramps, Tolls, and Express Lanes - Proposals for Decreasing Traffic Congestion in the Patent Office

51 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2005  

Kristen Jakobsen Osenga

University of Richmond - School of Law


There are two primary, yet competing, problems burdening the grant of patents by the US Patent & Trademark Office - the questionable quality of the patents being issued and the lack of speed with which patents are granted. This article explores these problems and proposes a multi-tier patent grant system as a potential solution.

The article proposes a paradigm, using a highway metaphor, for categorizing patent applications into three types based on the inventor's intent and market realities at the time of filing. From this paradigm, the article proposes that we add additional roads, or create a multi-tier patent grant system, that will address the problems of speed and quality. In addition to the current patent grant system (with some minor modifications), the article proposes adding a Primary Patent (for patents that are not intended to be used in the traditional exclusionary manner) and a Techno-Patent (for patents on rapidly-obsolescing technologies that need to issue quickly). The multiple tracks, as well as additional requirements on inventors, should allow for more complete examination of the patent applications that need it most, addressing the quality of patents. The multiple tracks also allow for different patent applications to be examined differently, depending on the inventor's intended usage, and should address the speed of patent issue.

Suggested Citation

Osenga, Kristen Jakobsen, Entrance Ramps, Tolls, and Express Lanes - Proposals for Decreasing Traffic Congestion in the Patent Office. Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 33, No. 1, Fall 2005. Available at SSRN:

Kristen Osenga (Contact Author)

University of Richmond - School of Law ( email )

28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
United States
804-289-8112 (Phone)

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