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Does the outsourcing of prior art search increase the efficiency of patent examination?

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  • Yamauchi, Isamu
  • Nagaoka, Sadao

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of outsourcing of prior art search on the efficiency of patent examination, using a large scale Japanese patent examination data. Outsourcing may increase examination quality by expanding the scope of prior art search, while it may have a negative effect if the synergy between search and examination is important. If examination quality is the predominant concern for outsourcing decision and the outsourcing is constrained by budgetary resources, we expect that outsourcing enhances examination quality at its margin. On the other hand, if an examiner can save private cost by outsourcing, an increase in outsourcing can decrease the quality. Controlling for the endogeneity of outsourcing decision as well as examiners’ fixed effects, we found that the outsourcing of prior art search significantly decreased the frequency of appeals against both examiners’ rejection and grant decisions and reduced the length of examination duration. At the same time we found that the prior art search of complex inventions is not outsourced. These suggest that the opportunity for exploiting external knowledge and capability can increase the quality as well as the speed of examination.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/25671/1/070iirWP13-12.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series IIR Working Paper with number 13-12.

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Length: 35 p.
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:iirwps:13-12

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Keywords: patent; examination; outsourcing; search; prior art;

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References

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  1. Goto, Akira & Motohashi, Kazuyuki, 2007. "Construction of a Japanese Patent Database and a first look at Japanese patenting activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1431-1442, November.
  2. Dietmar Harhoff & Stefan Wagner, 2009. "The Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(12), pages 1969-1984, December.
  3. Liegsalz, Johannes & Wagner, Stefan, 2013. "Patent examination at the State Intellectual Property Office in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 552-563.
  4. Pierre R�Gibeau & Katharine Rockett, 2010. "INNOVATION CYCLES AND LEARNING AT THE PATENT OFFICE: DOES THE EARLY PATENT GET THE DELAY? -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 222-246, 06.
  5. David Popp & Ted Juhl & Daniel K.N. Johnson, 2003. "Time in Purgatory: Determinants of the Grant Lag for U.S. Patent Applications," NBER Working Papers 9518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bernard Caillaud & Anne Duchene, 2009. "Patent Office in innovation policy: Nobody's perfect," PSE Working Papers halshs-00575019, HAL.
  7. Batabyal, Amitrajeet A. & Nijkamp, Peter, 2008. "Is there a tradeoff between average patent pendency and examination errors?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 150-158.
  8. Bhaven N. Sampat, 2010. "When Do Applicants Search for Prior Art?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 399-416, 05.
  9. Palangkaraya, Alfons & Jensen, Paul H. & Webster, Elizabeth, 2008. "Applicant behaviour in patent examination request lags," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 243-245, December.
  10. Iain M. Cockburn & Samuel Kortum & Scott Stern, 2002. "Are All Patent Examiners Equal? The Impact of Examiner Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 8980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Yamauchi, Isamu & Nagaoka, Sadao, 2014. "An Economic Analysis of Deferred Examination System: Evidence from Policy Reforms in Japan," IIR Working Paper 14-05, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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