Is there any statistics on that? This might be an explanation for dumb patents. I am seeing quite a few of those as I am searching through google. The application process isn't expensive unless a lawyer is involved. Hence, without the deterrence of high price the number of bad patents increases. This is my theory.

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1 Answer 1


There is an article in PatentlyO with statistics about the success statistics in various categories. It says only 1% of non-provisonal utility patents are filed pro se from a limited sample. That doesn’t explain a large number of “dumb” patents. However, if an independent inventor with a dumb idea hires a professional to help they might still end up with a well written but dumb patent application.

From the PatentlyO blog -

The most surprising result: Overall in this sample, I found that over 99% of patent applicants were represented by a US patent practitioner. An important note here is that the focus of this study was non-provisional utility application filings. I expect that the rate of true pro-se applications would be much greater if we looked at provisional patent applications.

It has a table with success rates -


Another article took in a much bigger sample and was more rigorous. I do not see that it address your question, but focuses on success of those that are filed. The Lone Inventor: Low Success Rates and Common Errors Associated with Pro-Se Patent Applications It also examines differences in content of applications between represented and non-represented applicants.

I will note that represented means a registered practitioner which can be as attorney or not an attorney (a patent agent).

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