PublishedOctober 1, 2014

If Everyone’s Doing It, How Can It Be Innovative?

© 2014 Ebyabe, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0
© 2014 Ebyabe, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0

Dennis Crouch over at Patently-O reports that for Fiscal Year 2014 (which just ended), the [define term=”USPTO”] granted a record number of utility patents, over 300,000. Dennis determines that this results in an allowance rate of about 70%.

Think about that – 70% of patent applications result in a patent. Doesn’t that seem at odds with the idea of a patent being for something new?

It seems to me that it’s simply impossible that 7 out of 10 applications are for inventions that no one has ever thought of before. Remember, a patent is only supposed to issue for an invention that’s new and wouldn’t be obvious to someone with ordinary skill in the same field.

It’s possible that the USPTO is like Lake Wobegon, where all the patent applications are above average.

But it’s more likely that, as I’ve written recently, most issued patents are invalid.

 

Matt Levy

Previously, Matt was patent counsel at the Computer & Communications Industry Association

More Posts

Congress Can Find Common Ground on Transparency

Postmortems from the November 8th elections are in full swing with pundits and operatives making bold claims about what the results mean for Democrats, Republicans, and the country. The dust still has...

Federal Circuit Temporarily Pauses Judge Connolly’s Disclosure Orders In Delaware

In its order on a mandamus request filed by MAVEXAR-linked entity Nimitz Technologies LLC, the Federal Circuit has temporarily paused Judge Connolly's order that entities in his court disclose details...

With frivolous NPE patent suits clogging courts, counsel’s diligence and ethics suffer

U.S. patent litigation is big business. Billion-dollar judgments, readily available litigation financing, and favorable venues and lax filing standards mean between three and four thousand suits are f...

Subscribe to Patent Progress

No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.