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Patent office governance and patent system quality

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  • PICARD, Pierre M.

    ()
    (CREA, Université du Luxembourg, Luxembourg and Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • VAN POTTELSBERGHE DE LA POTTERIE, Bruno

    ()
    (Université Libre de Bruxelles, SBS-EM, ECARES, CEPR and Bruegel)

Abstract

The present paper discusses the role of quality in patent systems from the perspective of patent offices' behavior and organization. After documenting original stylized facts, the paper presents a model in which patent offices set patent fees and the quality level of their examination processes. Various objectives of patent offices' governors are considered. We show that the quality of the patent system is maximal for the patent offices that maximises either the social welfare or its own profit. Quality is lower for the self-funded patent office maximizing the number of patent applications and even smaller for the self-funded patent office maximizing the number of granted patents. A labor union improves examination quality and may compensate for the potentialy inappropriate objectives of patent office management.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2011018.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2011018

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Keywords: patent system; quality; intellectual property; public firm organization;

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  1. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the cost of patenting in Europe," Working Papers 264, Bruegel.
  2. Belleflamme,Paul & Peitz,Martin, 2010. "Industrial Organization," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521681599, April.
  3. Duranton, Gilles & Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian, 2010. "The Economics of Clusters: Lessons from the French Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199592203, September.
  4. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2011. "The quality factor in patent systems," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1755-1793, December.
  5. Jérôme Danguy & Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2010. "The R&D‐Patent relationship: An Industry Perspective," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-038, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno, 2008. "On the price elasticity of demand for patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 7029, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2008. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1347-69, September.
  8. 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.
  9. Richard Gilbert and Carl Shapiro., 1989. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," Economics Working Papers 89-102, University of California at Berkeley.
  10. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "The role of fees in patent systems: Theory and evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7879, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Langinier, Corinne & Marcoul, Philippe, 2007. "Patents, Search of Prior Art, and Revelation of Information," Staff General Research Papers 10489, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Legros, 2013. "'Essential' patents, FRAND royalties and technological standards," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/168609, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
  14. Scherer, F M, 1972. "Nordhaus' Theory of Optimal Patent Life: A Geometric Reinterpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 422-27, June.
  15. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2007. "The economics of the European patent system: IP policy for innovation and competition," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6183, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P & Lampe Ryan, 2004. "Patent Renewal Fees and Self-Funding Patent Offices," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-15, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Matthis de Saint-Georges, 2011. "A quality index for patent systems," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-010, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Picard, Pierre M. & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "Patent office governance and patent examination quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 14-25.

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