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Can the Patent Office Be Fixed?


Publication Date: 
May 10, 2011
Book Chapter
Bibliography: Mark A. Lemley, Can the Patent Office Be Fixed? in Rules for Growth: Promoting Innovation and Growth Through Legal Reform, The Kauffman Task Force on Law, Innovation, and Growth, Kansas City, MO: Kauffman, 2011.


How can we fix the PTO, allowing 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 problems. It concludes that we can make the PTO better, but are unlikely to solve the problem of bad patents.