Patent Boss Admits That The Patent Office Keeps Getting Flooded By More And More Bad Patents
from the gee...-I-wonder-why... dept
The head of the US Patent Office, Jon Dudas, the same guy who was just hyping up a educational curriculum for children falsely claiming that any inventor “needs” to get a patent, is now complaining that the Patent Office is being overwhelmed with really crappy patent applications. You think? Lerner and Jaffe pointed this out years ago and it’s not difficult to see why. With the USPTO approving tons of bad patents, and the courts all too often siding with the patent holder and expanding what’s patentable, combined with people who have done nothing getting hundreds of millions just for holding a piece of paper, is it really any surprise that the incentive structure would push people to file for as many bogus patents as possible, in hopes of getting them through the obviously questionable process?
When you set up a system that rewards people for not actually innovating in the market (but just speculating on paper), then of course, you’re going to get more of that activity. When you set up a system that rewards those people to massive levels, well out of proportion with their contribution to any product, then of course you’re going to get more of that activity. When you set up a system that gives people a full monopoly right that can be used to set up a toll booth on the natural path of innovation, then of course you’re going to get more of that activity. When the cost of getting a patent is so much smaller than the potential payoff of suing others with it, then of course you’re going to get more of that activity. The fact that Dudas is just noticing this now, while still pushing for changes that will make the problem worse is a real problem. Patents were only supposed to be used in special cases. The fact that they’ve become the norm, rather than the exception is a problem, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is seriously looking into fixing that.