Pachooka-san writes "An article in the Washington Post touches on the 'real' patent problem — the quotas that Patent Examiners must meet. They have no effective quality standards, only production standards, so many applications get only cursory review just so the PE can keep up the grueling pace. The USPTO is the only government agency that can and does lay you off if your productivity drops below 85% of the standard for your civil service grade. A Primary PE has to process 5 new and 5 old applications every 2 weeks (that's 8 hours each, folks). The best part — that 28-box application mentioned in the article? — it gets the PE the same credit as the smallest application. How many of those 28 boxes do you think even got opened?"