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Time In Purgatory: Examining the Grant Lag for U.S. Patent Applications

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Author Info

  • Popp David

    ()
    (Syracuse University)

  • Juhl Ted

    ()
    (University of Kansas)

  • Johnson Daniel K.N.

    ()
    (Colorado College)

Abstract

As patent applications increase, and the range of patentable technologies increases, the length of time it takes for an invention to go through the examination process at the U.S. Patent Office has increased. Concerns over the distributional effects of these changes have been expressed during policy debates. We use data on U.S. patent applications and grants to ask who is affected by longer grant lags. We augment this analysis with interviews of patent examiners, leading to a better understanding of the examination process. Our analysis finds that differences across technology are most important. These differences do not erode over time, suggesting that learning effects alone will not reduce grant lags. Inventor characteristics have statistically significant effects, but the magnitudes are small.

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File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap.2004.4.issue-1/bejeap.2004.4.1.1329/bejeap.2004.4.1.1329.xml?format=INT
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (November)
Pages: 1-45

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.4:y:2004:i:1:n:29

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Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

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Cited by:
  1. Murray, Fiona & Stern, Scott, 2007. "Do formal intellectual property rights hinder the free flow of scientific knowledge?: An empirical test of the anti-commons hypothesis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 648-687, August.
  2. John S. Landon-Lane & Catherine Y. Co & Myeong-Su Yun, 2006. "Inter-state dynamics of invention activities, 1930-2000," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 1111-1134.
  3. Josh Lerner & Julie Wulf, 2006. "Innovation and Incentives: Evidence from Corporate R&D," NBER Working Papers 11944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cotropia, Christopher A. & Lemley, Mark A. & Sampat, Bhaven, 2013. "Do applicant patent citations matter?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 844-854.
  5. Popp, David & Santen, Nidhi & Fisher-Vanden, Karen & Webster, Mort, 2013. "Technology variation vs. R&D uncertainty: What matters most for energy patent success?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 505-533.
  6. Petra Moser & Paul W. Rhode, 2011. "Did Plant Patents Create the American Rose?," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 413-438 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Palangkaraya, Alfons & Jensen, Paul H. & Webster, Elizabeth, 2008. "Applicant behaviour in patent examination request lags," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 243-245, December.
  8. Aditi Mehta & Marc Rysman & Tim Simcoe, 2006. "Identifying the Age Profile of Patent Citations," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-022, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  9. Batabyal, Amitrajeet A. & Nijkamp, Peter, 2008. "Is there a tradeoff between average patent pendency and examination errors?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 150-158.
  10. Juan Alcacer & Michelle Gittelman & Bhaven Sampat, 2008. "Applicant and Examiner Citations in US Patents: An Overview and Analysis," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-016, Harvard Business School.
  11. Alcácer, Juan & Gittelman, Michelle & Sampat, Bhaven, 2009. "Applicant and examiner citations in U.S. patents: An overview and analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 415-427, March.
  12. Adams, Pamela & Fontana, Roberto & Malerba, Franco, 2013. "The magnitude of innovation by demand in a sectoral system: The role of industrial users in semiconductors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-14.
  13. Hoenen, Sebastian & Kolympiris, Christos & Schoenmakers, Wilfred & Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas, 2014. "The diminishing signaling value of patents between early rounds of venture capital financing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 956-989.
  14. McCann, Brian T. & Folta, Timothy B., 2011. "Performance differentials within geographic clusters," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 104-123, January.

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