Fixing the Patent Office
AbstractHow 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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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18081.
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Mark A. Lemley. "Fixing the Patent Office," in Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors, "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 13" University of Chicago Press (2013)
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K30 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-05-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2012-05-29 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2012-05-29 (Intellectual Property Rights)
- NEP-LAW-2012-05-29 (Law & Economics)
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