History of this Project
This paper was viewed on the Social Science Research Network by approaching 3,000 researchers and has been a top ten download on the Legal Scholarship Network for four days with over one thousands downloads.
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Published in the North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, Vol. 11, p. 223, 2010
Among the many factors that impact the declining quality of U.S. patents is the increasing disconnect between the technological education patent bar members have and the fields in which patents are being written. Based on an empirical study, the authors show that too few patent attorneys and agents have relevant experience in the most often patented areas today, such as computer science. An examination of the qualification practices of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") suggests that an institutional bias exists within the PTO that prevents software-savvy individuals from registering with the Office. The paper concludes with suggestions of how the identified problems can be corrected.
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Note: the data covers he years 1983, 1990 - 2005. Data entry prior to 1983 and 1984-1989 was missing application dates and therefore was not graphed.
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