Complaints about the patent system are legion. Critics complain that it is too easy to get a patent, that it is too easy to challenge an existing patent, that many patent denials are rationally inexplicable, that aggressive enforcement of patents stifles innovation, that patent trolls abuse the system to extort money from innocent users of widespread technology, and that inventors leverage modest modifications of existing patents to extend the patent period beyond intended legislative limits. While Janet Freilich’s forthcoming article, Ignoring Information Quality, may not reveal the root of all patent evil, it illuminates an important problem in the U.S. patent system, namely that patent examiners rely on low quality information to make their ever-important decisions on patentability. This, according to Professor Freilich, leads examiners to grant patents based on dubious claims that undercut, rather than further, patent law’s purpose of encouraging useful innovation and to reject deserving patents based on an incorrect understanding of background information.
Jack M. Beermann,
Patent Fake News
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/3365