Patent Quality Datapoints
Several researchers have tackled the problem, with estimates as high as 97% and as low as 62%, with most now agreeing that about 75% of patent applications are eventually granted.
Does the fact that 3 out of 4 patent applications eventually result in a patent grant surprise you? And what does this acceptance rate say about the USPTO's devotion to not granting bad patents? (Hint: unless you believe that 75% of patent applications are for useful, non-obvious ideas that don't have any invalidating prior art, you might be inclined to conclude that the USPTO is not as devoted to patent quality as they should be).
Another data point you may have heard about: the USPTO just granted its 7-millioneth patent. That's 7 million 20-year idea monopolies, every one of them beneficial to innovation, right? As an aside, it took almost 5 years, from the date of application, for this patent to issue.
One last data point: patent grant rates may have increased by 80% over the past 10 years.
All these numbers seem to indicate one thing: the USPTO needs more incentives to grant fewer, higher-quality patents. And one of the best ways to accomplish that may be to stop letting patent holders fund the patent office.