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Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy

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  • Hall, Bronwyn H.

Abstract

The trickle of business method patents issued by the United States Patent Office became a flood after the State Street Bank decision in 1998. Many scholars, both legal and economic, have critiqued both the quality of these patents and the decision itself. This paper discusses the likely impact of these patents on innovation. It first reviews the facts about business method and internet patents briefly and then explores what economists know about the relationship between the patent system and innovation. It concludes by finding some consensus in the literature about the problems associated with this particular expansion of patentable subject matter, highlighting remaining areas of disagreement, and suggesting where there are major gaps in our understanding of the impact of these patents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt2n24f63d.

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Date of creation: 04 May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt2n24f63d

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Keywords: intellectual property; State Street; software; internet; business methods; patents; innovation;

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References

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  1. Bronwyn H. Hall & Stuart J. H. Graham & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2004. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Post-grant Opposition," Law and Economics 0401002, EconWPA.
  2. Jean O. Lanjouw & Iain Cockburn, 2000. "Do Patents Matter?: Empirical Evidence after GATT," NBER Working Papers 7495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights," CEPR Discussion Papers 3093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Petra Moser, 2003. "How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World Fairs," NBER Working Papers 9909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Walter G. Park & Juan Carlos Ginarte, 1997. "Intellectual Property Rights And Economic Growth," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(3), pages 51-61, 07.
  7. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Robert M. Hunt, 2001. "You can patent that? Are patents on computer programs and business methods good for the new economy?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q1, pages 5-15.
  9. Jean Olson Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2001. "Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 30, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  10. Jean Olson Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2001. "Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights," NBER Working Papers 8656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Edwin Mansfield, 1986. "Patents and Innovation: An Empirical Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(2), pages 173-181, February.
  14. 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.
  15. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-95, October.
  16. Sabourin, David & Baldwin, John R. & Hanel, Peter, 2000. "Determinants of Innovative Activity in Canadian Manufacturing Firms: The Role of Intellectual Property Rights," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000122e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stefan Wagner, 2008. "Business Method Patents In Europe And Their Strategic Use—Evidence From Franking Device Manufacturers," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 173-194.
  2. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2009. "Business And Financial Method Patents, Innovation, And Policy," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(s1), pages 443-473, 09.
  3. Bronwyn H. Hall & Megan MacGarvie, 2006. "The Private Value of Software Patents," NBER Working Papers 12195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Iain M. Cockburn & Stefan Wagner, 2007. "Patents and the Survival of Internet-related IPOs," NBER Working Papers 13146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pollock, Rufus, 2006. "Innovation and Imitation with and without Intellectual Property Rights," MPRA Paper 5025, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Jul 2007.
  6. Bronwyn H. Hall & Stuart J. H. Graham & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2004. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Post-grant Opposition," Law and Economics 0401002, EconWPA.
  7. Shiyuan Pan & Heng-fu Zou & Tailong Li, 2010. "Patent Protection, Technological Change and Wage Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 437, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  8. Bronwyn H. Hall & Lee Manfred, 2007. "Innovation in non-bank payment systems," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  9. Bronwyn H. Hall & Grid Thoma & Salvatore Torrisi, 2009. "Financial Patenting in Europe," NBER Working Papers 14714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Oecd, 2004. "Patents and Innovation: Trends and Policy Challenges," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000502, David K. Levine.

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  1. Socio-Economics of Innovation

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