What’s Wrong With the Patent System?

1. Too many invalid patents are granted by Patent Offices.  In the US 92% of re-examination requests are granted, of which only 22% have all claims confirmed.  67% require claims changes and 11% are completely rejected (from techdirt 20 Aug 12).  In EPO oppositions, approximately a third of patents are upheld unamended, a third require amendment and a third are revoked completely.

2. Patent Troll/Non-Practising Entity (NPE). Patent trolls enforce patents against companies, but have no intention to themselves manufacture or market the patented invention.  They apparently cost US bodies $29 billion dollars in 2011.  They seem to operate mostly in the electronics/communications sectors.

3. Patent Offices often have substantial backlogs of unexamined applications. This allows applicants to keep broad claims pending creating uncertainties for third parties who cannot be sure what scope of claims will be granted.

4. Patents are too expensive to obtain. This favours richer organisations.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s