(Because I needed a hobby)

Rational Ignorance at the Patent Office

Posted February 06, 2014

If you are at all interested in patent law, Mark Lemley is a must-read. In 2001, Lemley wrote an article titled Rational Ignorance at the Patent Office, in which he challenges the assertion that the PTO should spend more time weeding out bad patents.

The article is only 35 pages long, but I took notes, and I can sum up his argument using a few of the numbers he provides. Of course, I recommend reading the entire piece, but here's the gist:

Note that even if we (unrealistically) assumed that doubling down on patent examination would eliminate every single patent that turns out to be invalid during litigation (almost half), that would save approximately $1.31 billion, still less than $1.52 billion in annual costs.

Check out the full article to find out where Lemley gets these numbers from.