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The Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office

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  • Dietmar Harhoff

    ()
    (Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship, School of Management, University of Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany; and Centre for Economic Policy Research, London EC1V 0DG, United Kingdom)

  • Stefan Wagner

    ()
    (Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship, School of Management, University of Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany)

Abstract

We analyze the duration and outcomes of patent examination at the European Patent Office utilizing an unusually rich data set covering a random sample of 215,265 applications filed between 1982 and 1998. In our empirical analysis, we distinguish between three groups of determinants: applicant characteristics, indicators of patent quality and value, and determinants that affect the complexity of the examination task. The results from an accelerated failure time model indicate that more controversial claims lead to slower grants but faster withdrawals, whereas well-documented applications are approved faster and withdrawn more slowly. We find strong evidence that applicants accelerate grant proceedings for their most valuable patents, but that they also prolong the battle for such patents if a withdrawal or refusal is imminent. This paper develops implications of these results for managerial decision making in research and development and innovation management.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1090.1069
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 55 (2009)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 1969-1984

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:55:y:2009:i:12:p:1969-1984

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Keywords: patents; patent examination; survival analysis; patent citations; European Patent Office;

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Cited by:
  1. Heger, Diana & Hussinger, Katrin, 2013. "External capital access and new product launch in start-up firms with uncertain intellectual property rights," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-095, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2011. "Long live patents: the increasing life expectancy of patent applications and its determinants," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/96255, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Berger, Florian & Blind, Knut & Thumm, Nikolaus, 2012. "Filing behaviour regarding essential patents in industry standards," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 216-225.
  4. Yamauchi, Isamu & Nagaoka, Sadao, 2014. "An Economic Analysis of Deferred Examination System: Evidence from Policy Reforms in Japan," IIR Working Paper 14-05, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Johannes Liegsalz & Stefan Wagner, 2011. "Patent examination at the State Intellectual Property Office in China," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-11-06, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  6. Bottazzi, Laura, 2009. "The role of venture capital in alleviating financial constraints of innovative firms," EIB Papers 9/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  7. Hall, Bronwyn H., 2009. "The financing of innovative firms," EIB Papers 8/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  8. Yamauchi, Isamu & Nagaoka, Sadao, 2013. "Does the outsourcing of prior art search increase the efficiency of patent examination?," IIR Working Paper 13-12, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  9. Harhoff, Dietmar, 2009. "The role of patents and licenses in securing external finance for innovation," EIB Papers 11/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  10. Du, Jingshu & Leten, Bart & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 2014. "Managing open innovation projects with science-based and market-based partners," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 828-840.
  11. Rudyk, Ilja, 2013. "Deferred Patent Examination," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 416, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  12. Darcy, Jacques & Krämer-Eis, Helmut & Guellec, Dominique & Debande, Olivier, 2009. "Financing technology transfer," EIB Papers 10/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  13. Dr Chiara Rosazza Bondibene, 2012. "A Study of Patent Thickets," NIESR Discussion Papers 11129, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  14. Dietmar Harhoff & Georg von Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner, 2012. "Conflict resolution, public goods and patent thickets," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-12-04 (R1), ESMT European School of Management and Technology, revised 25 Mar 2013.
  15. Della Malva, Antonio & Hussinger, Katrin, 2010. "Corporate science in the patent system: An analysis of the semiconductor technology," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-098, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  16. Belderbos, René & Cassiman, Bruno & Faems, Dries & Leten, Bart & Van Looy, Bart, 2014. "Co-ownership of intellectual property: Exploring the value-appropriation and value-creation implications of co-patenting with different partners," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 841-852.
  17. Fischer, Timo & Leidinger, Jan, 2014. "Testing patent value indicators on directly observed patent value—An empirical analysis of Ocean Tomo patent auctions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 519-529.
  18. Dirk Czarnitzki & Katrin Hussinger & Cédric Schneider, 2012. "The nexus between science and industry: evidence from faculty inventions," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(5), pages 755-776, October.

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