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Complementary Reforms of Patent Examination Request System in Japan


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  • Yamauchi, Isamu
  • Nagaoka, Sadao


The number of requests for patent examination showed a significant increase of 83% from 1997 to 2007 in Japan, while the number of patent applications increased by only 1%. This paper aims at theoretically and empirically analyzing the causes of recent "explosion" of examination requests, focusing especially on (1) the introduction of multiple claim system (January 1, 1988), (2) the shortening of the period available for examination request from seven to three years (October 1, 2001) and (3) the revisions of examination request fee and annual fee (April 1, 2004). We test the following propositions which are derived from the theoretical model; (a) the increase in the average number of claims increases the value of applications and raises the rate of examination request; (b) the shorter period of examination request increases the probability that the low-quality applications are requested for examination; and (c) the reforms of examination request fee and renewal fee improve the average quality of applications which are requested for examination. Our empirical results support these propositions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series IIR Working Paper with number 08-07.

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Length: 23 p.
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:iirwps:08-07

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Keywords: patent examination; option value; claim; R&D;

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