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The scariest number in the patent debate is also wrong

Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee marks up the PATENT Act, an important bipartisan measure to curb abusive behavior in the patent system. In the debate over this bill, opponents hoping to dial back patent reform have called the US Patent and Trademark Office a patent “death squad.” They cite the high “kill rates” from its new patent-review process that threaten to wipe out the majority of patents. And to back it up, they cite a very scary number from the USPTO itself: that under current patent law, approximately 84 percent of reviewed patents have their claims thrown out. The thing is, that figure is wrong – or at least, so far out of context it might as well be.


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