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The Most Dangerous Problem in Patent Law: Unreliability

The Most Dangerous Problem in Patent Law: Unreliability published on 21 Comments on The Most Dangerous Problem in Patent Law: Unreliability

What’s worse than a property system that is inefficient, inequitable, or delayed? Answer: A property system that is unreliable – one in which determinations of property rights are unpredictable, capricious, and incoherent.

Over the past decade, the reliability of the patent system has been critically damaged. No one can predict whether, or when, an application will be allowed. No one can determine whether an issued patent will be found valid or invalid at court – nor whether any higher courts will respect lower courts’ decisions. And no one knows what this turbulent body of law will even look like, twelve months from now.

This unreliability in patent law hurts nearly everyone: applicants, patent owners, competitors, patent examiners, the patent office, and the court system. The only parties that benefit from this chaos are academics, litigators, and speculators – sure signs of a deeply dysfunctional legal process.
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