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Fixing the Patent Office

Mark A. Lemley
Innovation Policy and the Economy
Vol. 13, No. 1 (January 2013), pp. 83-100
DOI: 10.1086/668240
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668240
Page Count: 18
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Fixing the Patent Office
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Abstract

Executive SummaryHow 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.

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