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Business And Financial Method Patents, Innovation, And Policy

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  • Bronwyn H. Hall

Abstract

Two court decisions in the 1990s are widely viewed as having opened the door to a flood of business method and financial patents at the US Patent and Trademark Office, and to have also impacted other patent offices around the world. A number of scholars, both legal and economic, have critiqued both the quality of these patents and the decisions themselves. This paper reviews the history of business method and financial patents briefly and then explores what economists know about the relationship between the patent system and innovation, in order to draw some tentative conclusions about their likely impact. It concludes by finding some consensus in the literature about the problems associated with this particular expansion of patentable subject matter, highlighting the remaining areas of disagreement, and reviewing the various policy recommendations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Scottish Economic Society in its journal Scottish Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 56 (2009)
Issue (Month): s1 (09)
Pages: 443-473

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:56:y:2009:i:s1:p:443-473

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References

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  1. Tufano, Peter, 1989. "Financial innovation and first-mover advantages," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 213-240, December.
  2. Stuart J. H. Graham & Bronwyn H. Hall & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2003. "Post-Issue Patent "Quality Control": A Comparative Study of US Patent Re-examinations and European Patent Oppositions," Industrial Organization 0303009, EconWPA.
  3. Shapiro, Carl, 2000. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt4hs5s9wk, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Thoma, Grid & Torrisi, Salvatore, 2010. "Financial Patenting in Europe," MERIT Working Papers 011, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  5. Merges, Robert P, 2003. "The Uninvited Guest: Patents on Wall Street," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt46g5m6z3, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  6. Wagner, Stefan, 2006. "Business Method Patents in Europe and their Strategic Use - Evidence from Franking Device Manufacturers," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 1265, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  7. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1996. "Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 322-331, Summer.
  8. Edwin Mansfield, 1986. "Patents and Innovation: An Empirical Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(2), pages 173-181, February.
  9. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-51, Spring.
  10. Praveen Kumar & Stuart M. Turnbull, 2008. "Optimal Patenting and Licensing of Financial Innovations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(12), pages 2012-2023, December.
  11. Ashish Arora & Marco Ceccagnoli & Wesley M. Cohen, 2003. "R&D and the Patent Premium," NBER Working Papers 9431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 2007. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt8vg425vj, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  13. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," Law and Economics 0401001, EconWPA.
  14. Robert M. Hunt, 2010. "Business Method Patents And U.S. Financial Services," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(3), pages 322-352, 07.
  15. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  16. Sunil Kanwar & Robert Evenson, 2003. "Does intellectual property protection spur technological change?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 235-264, April.
  17. Bronwyn H. Hall & Grid Thoma & Salvatore Torrisi, 2009. "Financial Patenting in Europe," NBER Working Papers 14714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Bronwyn H. Hall & Megan MacGarvie, 2006. "The Private Value of Software Patents," NBER Working Papers 12195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Green, J.R. & Scotchmer, S., 1993. "On the Division of Profit in Sequential Innovation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1638, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  20. Jonathan Levin & Richard Levin, . "Patent Oppositions," Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy Working Paper Series yale_lepp-1005, Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy.
  21. Lerner, Josh, 2006. "The new new financial thing: The origins of financial innovations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 223-255, February.
  22. Petra Moser, 2005. "How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World's Fairs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1214-1236, September.
  23. Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-28, Spring.
  24. Bronwyn H. Hall & Stuart Graham & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2004. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Postgrant Opposition," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 4, pages 115-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Kingston, William, 2001. "Innovation needs patents reform," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 403-423, March.
  26. Bronwyn H. Hall & Lee Manfred, 2007. "Innovation in non-bank payment systems," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  27. James Bessen & Eric Maskin, 2009. "Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 611-635.
  28. Robert P. Merges, 2003. "The uninvited guest: patents on Wall Street," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q4, pages 1-14.
  29. Diallo, Barrou, 2003. "Historical perspectives on IP protection for software in selected countries worldwide," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 19-25, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cozzi, Guido & Galli, Silvia, 2011. "Upstream innovation protection: common law evolution and the dynamics of wage inequality," MPRA Paper 31902, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Bernard Caillaud & Anne Duchene, 2009. "Patent Office in innovation policy: Nobody's perfect," Working Papers halshs-00575019, HAL.
  3. Guido Cozzi & Silvia Galli, 2012. "Sequential R&D and Blocking Patents in the Dynamics of Growth," Working Papers 2012_02, Durham University Business School.
  4. Desyllas, Panos & Sako, Mari, 2013. "Profiting from business model innovation: Evidence from Pay-As-You-Drive auto insurance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 101-116.

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