More on patent reform
In recent patent reform proposals made by the Federal Trade Commission [FTC] and the National Academy of Sciences [NAS], there has been discussion that the United States Patent and Trademark Office [USPTO] might have a high grant rate of patents compared to rates of other industrialized countries, including Japan and European countries. This discussion began with papers of Quillen and Webster that suggested that the grant rate might be as high as 97% and more reasonably is at least 85%. Clarke suggested that the issue rate is closer to 75%. While Quillen and Webster based grant rate on applications "allowed," Clarke based his studies on applications "issued." In this paper, we use data from the USPTO to show that the difference between "allowed" and "issued" applications is not the reason for the divergence in grant rates. Instead, we suggest that Quillen and Webster's elevated grant rates arise from a flawed numerical approach.
See 4 CHI.-KENT J. INTELL. PROP. 186.
Separately, I have an article on Merck v. Integra which should appear in April 2005.