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Live and Let Live: A Tale of Weak Patents

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  • Jay Pil Choi

    (Michigan State University,)

Abstract

Patent protection has gradually expanded over time, and many patents of suspect value are routinely granted owing to the lack of rigorous scrutiny in the examination process. This has resulted in the recent explosion of patents granted and potentially creates a "patent thicket"that hinders future innovation. I investigate the question of whether the litigation process can be relied on to restore competition when an imperfect market outcome is sustained through patents of suspect value. The analysis undertaken in the paper points out the serious lack of private incentives to eliminate patents of suspect value through litigation. I also discuss potential measures to restore the soundness of the patent system. (JEL: O3, L1, L4, D8, K4) Copyright (c) 2005 The European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04/05)
Pages: 724-733

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:3:y:2005:i:2-3:p:724-733

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Cited by:
  1. Dietmar Harhoff & Georg von Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner, 2014. "Conflict Resolution, Public Goods and Patent Thickets," Working Papers 49, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  2. Gallini, Nancy, 2011. "Private Agreements for Coordinating Patent Rights: The Case of Patent Pools," IEL Working Papers 5, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  3. Stefano Comino & Clara Graziano, 2014. "How Many Patents Does it Take to Signal Innovation Quality?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4840, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2008. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1347-69, September.
  5. Chen, Yongmin & Pan, Shiyuan & Zhang, Tianle, 2012. "(When) Do Stronger Patents Increase Continual Innovation?," MPRA Paper 40874, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Lei, Zhen & Wright, Brian D., 2009. "Why weak patents? Rational ignorance or pro-"customer" Tilt?," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49279, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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