As to this point:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Explain to me why someone would get a patent that he/she never intends or will not be able to enforce.
Anyone with industry experience knows that 1) the vast majority of patents are shit and 2) getting more patents never leads to higher quality patents, because budget constraints are made on a per-patent basis, not on any kind of patent-quality metric. Another fact of life in the prosecution world is that a large number, perhaps a majority, of prosecution attorneys are idiots who are incapable of drafting high-quality patents. If companies decide to increase prosecution budgets (which may be the case, who knows) it will not lead to a greater number of jobs in patent prosecution. Rather, they will (or should) start paying the good patent prosecutors more money.
Of course, companies do not seek out unenforceable patents, but you cannot know ex ante at the prosecution stage whether a given claim will stand up in litigation. The best you can do is to vary your claim scope. Push the envelope with broad claims and cover your bases with narrow claims. A greater emphasis on strategic lawyering strikes me as a good thing.
And of those that I've met, prosecution attorneys are not idiots -- their incentives lie in quantity over quality. And quantity is and will remain a defensible strategy for companies. You don't know where competitors will go, and you don't know where prior art will be found post-allowance. So you seek to issue multiple patents with varied claim scope, and you pick out the best patents to monetize down the road.