What is patent quality?

The question about what is meant by a reference to patent “quality” is asked often.  Bart van Wezenbeek writing in Rubicon Personal IP has offered a definition. Here’s an outline.

  1. A quality patent meets novelty and inventive step criteria. Dealing with averages, the fewer the patents found to be invalid, the better the quality.
  2. The prior art search and the examination should be professional and thorough.
  3. A quality patent will produce consistency. The treatment of the same application in different patent offices should be similar, especially when the same prior art is available.
  4. The patent office should respond to the application in a timely way.
  5. Quality patents will experience an absence of arbitrariness on the part of examiners.