In this paper, we show that there are important differences across patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Of!ce (USPTO), and that these relate to the most important decision made by the USPTO: whether or not to grant a patent. We find that more experienced examiners, and those who systematically cite less prior art, are more likely to grant patent applications. These results are not encouraging as a matter of public policy. But they do point to human resource policies as potentially important levers in patent system reform.
The 271blog did not note Lemley's poor track record in the patent grant rate area, as shown by Lemley's reversal of his position on Robert Clarke's analysis which appeared in Lemley's rubber stamp SSRN piece, and flat-out contradicted what Lemley said in "Ending Abuse..." . Sampat was a co-author on rubber stamp, too.