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Abstract

Many experts have suggested that the USPTO approves nearly all applications, blaming this apparent leniency for many problems with the U.S. patent system. This empirical study follows the prosecution histories of 2.15 million U.S. patent applications from 1996 to mid-2013 in order to find what proportion of patent applications are eventually granted, and then discusses implications of the findings for inventors, policymakers, and legal scholars.

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