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Patent administrators across the globe currently face the most challenging operating environment they have ever known. Soaring application rates, lean fiscal policies and an increasingly ambitious range of patentable subject matter are among the difficulties faced by the world's leading patent offices. These trends have resulted in persistent concerns over the quality of issued patents. Responding to recent writings questioning the value of maintaining high levels of patent quality, Professor Jay Thomas asserts both that patent quality matters, and that increasing the responsibilities of patent applicants provides a fair and efficient mechanism for improving patent office work product. This Article then assesses recent reform agendas pursued by the European Patent Office, Japanese Patent Office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that have elevated applicant obligations. After distilling broader policy trends from these distinct programs, Professor Thomas presents several proposals for patent administration reform.

Publication Citation

17 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 727-761 (2002)