Why patent protection (and quality) is critical for the US economy

patent protection

An article published in the Washington Examiner discusses the importance of patent protection in maintaining the United States’ “global pre-eminence in R&D investment and productivity.”

The author, John Thorne, a practicing patent attorney, suggests that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), under new Director Andre Iancu, must improve its review process to ensure patent quality, and guarantee every patent granted is, in fact, a new idea.

He proposes a few ways this should be accomplished including:

  1. Efficient post-issuance review to weed out bad existing patents
  2. Rigorous examination of patent applications to strengthen the quality of new approval

He cites the Inter Partes Review process, introduced in 2011, as a positive step toward this goal. However, he suggests greater efforts must be taken to shift support of quality patents to the front end, toward applicants, instead of placing all of the burden on the patent examiner.

Companies like TurboPatent use AI and automated patent scoring to increase the quality of patent applications and have seen a 50% reduction in rejections.