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« Patent Profile: CellCyte Genetics Announces Issuance of Patent on Stem Cell Delivery Method | Main | LSI Conference on Buying, Selling and Licensing Patents »

November 15, 2007

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Comments

Don,

I still find it amazing that PTO keeps harping on the low allowance rate as reflecting "quality examination". It is but one aspect of the equation, and not necessarily the most important. I would say "fair, balanced and consistent" examination would be a better measure of "quality" but I'm sure the PTO hierarchy would consider that too difficult to measure. We've already seen how the PTO currently plays "fast and loose" with the facts in their current Rule making, as reflected in the GSK/Tafas suits. Frankly, at this point, what the PTO hierarchy has to say about "quality" in examination has very little credibility with me now.

EG: "Frankly, at this point, what the PTO hierarchy has to say about [anything] in examination has very little credibility with me now."

You still give them too much credit....

Waiting for Jan. 20, 2009

You're probably right, I may have given the PTO hierarchy "too much credit." I'm watching with great fascination the GSK/Tafas suits, and all the fallout from those. May be the PTO hierarchy will be forced to explain all these so-called "quality" initiatives that no one but them seem to find worthy in depositions.

"I still find it amazing that PTO keeps harping on the low allowance rate as reflecting "quality examination". It is but one aspect of the equation, and not necessarily the most important."

It is almost certainly the most important aspect of the equation and that is easily understood if you imagine the sort of patents we'd be seeing issued if that percentage rate had increased instead of decreased.

Get it?

Dear Hope:

You presume that the patents that are not being allowed are solely (or disproportionately) patents that should not be allowed. You neglect to consider that the office may not be allowing patents that they should be allowing. It can't be the case that the Office has only and specifically refused to allow those patents that should not be allowed; not only is such an outcome statistically unlikely, it is not consistent with human experience. In any endeavor, whether it's patents or widgets, improving quality by reducing the bad species will always encompass at least some of the good species as well.

Which is why the bald numbers of reduced allowance rate don't tell the whole story. And the part about it "not necessarily being the most important" part of the story is this: the most important part is whether the Office is disproportionately refusing to allow "bad" patents (i.e., ones that should not be allowed). Because if the answer to this question is "no," it is legitimate to ask which does more harm to innovation, granting "bad" patents or refusing to grant "good" ones.

Now, do you "get it?"

Thanks for the comment.

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