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Patent Office Governance and Patent System Quality

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  • Pierre M. Picard

    ()
    (CREA, University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg), and CORE, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium).)

  • Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie

    ()
    (Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), SBS-EM, ECARES, CEB, DULBEA, 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 proffit. 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 Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg in its series CREA Discussion Paper Series with number 11-06.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:11-06

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

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  1. Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2013. "The Role Of Fees In Patent Systems: Theory And Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 696-716, 09.
  2. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2008. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1347-69, September.
  3. Danguy, Jérôme & de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "The R&D-patent relationship: An industry perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 8145, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Gilbert, R. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Optimal Patent Length And Breadth," Papers, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper 28, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  5. Belleflamme,Paul & Peitz,Martin, 2010. "Industrial Organization," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521681599, 9.
  6. van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "The quality factor in patent systems," CEPR Discussion Papers 7921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the cost of patenting in Europe," Working Papers, Bruegel 264, Bruegel.
  8. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "On the price elasticity of demand for patents," Working Papers CEB, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles 08-031.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. 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, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-15, July.
  10. 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.
  11. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Legros, 2008. ""Essential" Patents, FRAND Royalties and Technological Standards," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2008-010, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. 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.
  13. Duranton, Gilles & Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian, 2010. "The Economics of Clusters: Lessons from the French Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199592203, October.
  14. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. de Saint-Georges, Matthis & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2011. "A quality index for patent systems," CEPR Discussion Papers 8440, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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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