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PTO's Dudas Says It Is 'Wrong' To Call U.S. Patent System Broken

Publication Date: 
March 02, 2007
Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal
Joyce E. Cutler

Mark Lemley was quoted in BNA's Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal in its story about the recent Tech Policy Summit:

The PTO successfully processed 300,000 applications last year but received 400,000, "and the pendency backlog is 1 million," according to Mark Lemley, a law professor at Stanford.

"This is a high-volume business," Lemley said in a discussion about patents. "The most innovative companies in the world are talking about the patent system not as a driver of innovation but an impediment to innovation."

The problem is not bad patents, said Lemley. ""f you think of the problem as bad patents and you have to get rid of bad patents at the PTO, you will never get rid of the bad patents at the PTO," he said. "Everyone in the patent world has a silly patent," Lemley said, noting one patent issued for painting using a baby's bottom. "They're all bad patents but they're not going to affect anybody's life," he said.