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Competition, Innovation and Racing for Priority at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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  • Linda R. Cohen

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Jun Ishii

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

Abstract

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office resolves patent priority disputes in patent interference cases. Using a random sample of cases declared between 1988 and 1994, we establish a connection between patent interferences and patent races, and then use the data to consider some key issues in dynamic competition and innovation. We look at the incidence and distribution of patent races by technology, evidence for strategic delay of innovation by incumbent firms, and evidence that patent races moderate incentives to delay. Our results have implications for patent policy in general and for evaluating the U.S. “first to invent†patent priority rule.

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File URL: http://www.economics.uci.edu/files/economics/docs/workingpapers/2005-06/Cohen-04.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 050604.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050604

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Keywords: Patent race; Patent interference; US Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences; Patent litigation; Innovation; Research and development;

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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 & Josh Lerner, 1997. "The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," NBER Working Papers 6296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Patents, Citations, and Innovations: A Window on the Knowledge Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026260065x, December.
  4. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius, 2000. "An empirical test of the asymmetric models on innovative activity: who invests more into R&D - the incumbent or the challenger?," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-10, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Cockburn, Iain. & Henderson, Iain., 1994. "Racing to invest? : the dynamics of competition in ethical drug discovery," Working papers 3710-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  6. Josh Lerner, 1997. "An Empirical Exploration of a Technology Race," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 228-247, Summer.
  7. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1989. "The timing of innovation: Research, development, and diffusion," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 849-908 Elsevier.
  8. Mark Schankerman, 1998. "How Valuable is Patent Protection? Estimates by Technology Field," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 77-107, Spring.
  9. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
  10. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1988. "Innovation in Large and Small Firms: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 678-90, September.
  11. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1982. "A Dynamic Game of R and D: Patent Protection and Competitive Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 671-88, May.
  12. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-51, Spring.
  13. Jean LANJOUW & Josh LERNER, 1998. "The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 49-50, pages 223-246.
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Cited by:
  1. Carl Shapiro, 2007. "Patent Reform: Aligning Reward and Contribution," NBER Working Papers 13141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 38, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Kaz Miyagiwa & Yuka Ohno, 2012. "International Harmonization of the Patent-Issuing Rules," ISER Discussion Paper 0837, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

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