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Patent Office in innovation policy: Nobody's perfect

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  • Bernard Caillaud

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

  • Anne Duchene

    (Bennett S. LeBow College of Business - Department of Economics and International Business - Drexel University)

Abstract

The number of patent applications and "bad" patents issued has been rising rapidly in recent years. Based on this trend, we study the overload problem within the Patent Office and its consequences on the firms' R&D incentives. We assume that the examination process of patent applications is imperfect, and that its quality is poorer under congestion. Depend- ing on policy instruments such as submission fees and the toughness of the non-obviousness requirement, the system may result in a high-R&D equilibrium, in which firms self-select in their patent applications, or in an equilibrium with low R&D, opportunistic patent applications and the issuance of bad patents. Multiple equilibria often coexist, which deeply undermines the effectiveness of policy instruments. We investigate the robustness of our conclusions as to how the value of patent protection is formalized, taking into consideration the introduction of a penalty system for rejected patent applications, as well as the role of commitment to a given IP protection policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00575019.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00575019

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Related research

Keywords: patent office ; patent quality ; congestion ; innovation;

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Cited by:
  1. Andreea Cosnita & Jean-Philippe Tropeano, 2006. "On the Effective Design of the Efficiency Defence," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00113503, HAL.
  2. van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "The quality factor in patent systems," CEPR Discussion Papers 7921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Christian Le Bas & Julien Pénin, 2014. "Patents and innovation : Are the brakes broken, or how to restore patents’ dynamic efficiency ?," Working Papers of BETA 2014-02, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  4. 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.
  5. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea & Tropeano, Jean-Philippe, 2012. "Do remedies affect the efficiency defense? An optimal merger-control analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 58-66.
  6. Lubica Hikkerova & Niaz Kammoun & Jean-Sébastien Lantz, 2014. "Patent Life Cycle: New Evidence," Working Papers 2014-367, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  7. 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.

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