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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. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
  2. 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.
  3. Mejer, Malwina & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno, 2008. "The London Agreement and the Cost of Patenting in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7033, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jérôme Danguy & Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2010. "The R&D‐Patent relationship: An Industry Perspective," Working Papers ECARES, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles ECARES 2010-038, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2010. "The quality factor in patent systems," Working Papers, Bruegel 422, Bruegel.
  6. Richard Gilbert & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 106-112, Spring.
  7. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Legros, 2008. ""Essential" Patents, FRAND Royalties and Technological Standards," Working Papers ECARES, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles ECARES 2008-010, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "The role of fees in patent systems: Theory and evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7879, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  10. 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.
  11. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
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  13. 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.
  14. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "On the Price Elasticity of Demand for Patents," Working Papers ECARES, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles 2008_031, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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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, C.E.P.R. 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, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 14-25.

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