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This short essay written for a broad audience addresses the problems that are at the center of current debates in academic and policy circles about the patent system. Most current patent reform proposals are designed to give officials and courts more power to weaken or eliminate ‘‘unworthy’’ patents and take primary aim at so-called patent trolls. This essay argues that in light of the rapid, and excessive, changes that have already occurred in the courts, what patent law needs is a tweaking of existing safety valves and processes - not opening the floodgates to more discretion and uncertainty.

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GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 482

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