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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Patent Quality Doesn't Start at the PTO?

Interesting study done by Patently-O, showing that, while the number of citations in issued patents has dramatically increased over the past 35 years, the number of citations made by examiners has remained relatively static. What does that mean? Hard to say, but it would seem to indicate that shifting more of the searching onus onto inventors and their attorneys does not necessarily correlate with increased patent quality, which is the avowed goal of many intiatives currently supported by the PTO. Also noted is that the ratio of patent prior art to non-patent prior art has remained relatively constant even as the overall number of citations has increased.

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