Originally Posted by Buano
I'm a lawyer AND an engineer.
As others have said, a patent is a limited monopoly for 17 years to sell a product. The patent office used to test most patent claims but their staff got slashed under Republican administrations and they reportedly no longer vet all claims in patents.
I have about 35 granted patents at this point, maybe more since I haven't checked lately, but I can tell you the above statement is simply not the case. There are tons of people working at the patent office, and they vet all claims. My last patent was around 600 pages long and they go through the whole thing and check all the claims - line by line.
If you have access, you can see the back and forth from the inventors and the patent office over various claims.
Sometimes we (researchers) complain that the patent office seems to grant too many, and claims that are too broad. But, as our chief counsel likes to say, "they are called the patent office, not the non-patent office", so they tend to err on the side of granting too much. They figure that it will work itself out in court.