Laming up

The NYT asks the near-rhetorical question, “Does the patent system need an overhaul?” Professors Josh Lerner and Adam B. Jaffe seem to think so, and have written a book about it called “Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What To Do About It”.

“We see people set out to do reforms with one thing in mind, but that have quite an unintended effect…The easier it became to get patents, the more people wanted to apply for them, and that led to a situation where examiners grappled with more patents to review, which led to them being pressed to do quicker reviews and a degradation in quality of patents issued.”

Lerner and Jaffe accuses the clique-like patent bar for encouraging a “patent system that is complicated, and one that involves protracted, costly litigation.”

Their tricks for the fix? Scrutinize and apply more resources to patent applications in relation to their order of importance, encourage information contribution by third parties via incentives, and trial patent lawsuits before judges, not potentially technically-illiterate juries.

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