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On Addressing Patent Quality

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The articles by Dan Burk and Mark Lemley, F. Scott Kieff, and R. Polk Wagner for the Symposium on the Foundations of Intellectual Property Re-form represent a very valuable collection of works from some of the most no-table and influential patent scholars. The wide range of claims and arguments—from Burk and Lemley’s vigorous call for a return to the use of central claiming (and central-claim interpretation), to Wagner’s compelling demonstration that the incentives for patentees and the Patent Office to produce opaque patent disclosures with indeterminate claims are strong and probably very difficult to uproot, to Kieff’s forceful argument that patent-quality concerns are best resolved well after examination by imposing fee- and cost-shifting penalties on patent owners that assert low-quality patents (and on infringers that ignore patents when validity cannot legitimately be challenged)—provides an excellent sample of perspectives that helps to illuminate the broader scholarly debate about patents, patent quality, and patent-system reform. Everyone with an interest in these issues will find these articles to be welcome and idea-stimulating reads.

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The PTO’s Future: Reform or Abolition?

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In their four contributions to the Symposium on the Foundations of Intellectual Property Reform, Michael Abramowicz and John Duffy,...

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