The Philadelphia Enquirer provides a succinct summary of our current patent woes in today's opinion piece
When fueled with adequate resources, these [patent] systems encourage the creation of inventions and drive economic growth.
At one time, the U.S. patent system was an example of this creative dynamic. Not anymore, as patent-related issues have become uncertain, [and] lengthy, legal proceedings rather than business or scientific discussions [determine the outcomes].
The commentary recommends several useful reforms, including a suggestion to
adopt a "probation" system, in which patents are granted but then subject to a rigorous review by interested third parties. Only an invention that passes the scrutiny of experts and competitors would be assigned a permanent patent, making it more robust.
This is similar in nature to premature expiration
combined with incentives for encouraging applicants to find their own prior art
, but is stated more concisely under the term "Patent Probation."