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Product Development and the Timing of Information Disclosure under U.S.and Japanese Patent Systems

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  • Reiko Aoki
  • Thomas J. Prusa

Abstract

This paper examines the consequences of the differences in the timing of information disclosure between the U.S. and Japanese patent systems. Under the Japanese system it is possible for a firm to apply for a patent knowing the exact specifications of a rival's patent application. In contrast, in the U.S. the only way a firm learns about a rival's innovation is upon the actual granting of the rival's patent. We argue that this difference enables Japanese firms to coordinate their R&D efforts better than their U.S. counterparts and that this, in turn, leads to smaller quality improvements under the Japanese system. We show that the creation/diffusion tradeoff of patents can be influenced not only by the scope and length of patent protection but also by other features of the patenting process.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5063.

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Date of creation: Mar 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 10(3), (September 1996), pp. 233-249.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5063

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References

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  1. Janusz A. Ordover, 1991. "A Patent System for Both Diffusion and Exclusion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 43-60, Winter.
  2. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
  3. GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Price competition, quality and income disparities," CORE Discussion Papers RP -370, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. 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.
  5. Suzanne Scotchmer & Jerry Green, 1990. "Novelty and Disclosure in Patent Law," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 131-146, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
  2. Aoki, Reiko & Spiegel, Yossi, 2009. "Pre-grant patent publication and cumulative innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 333-345, May.
  3. Yang, Deli, 2008. "Pendency and grant ratios of invention patents: A comparative study of the US and China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 1035-1046, July.
  4. Reiko Aoki & Yossef Spiegel, 2000. "Public Disclosure of Patent Applications, R & D, and Welfare," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1273, Econometric Society.

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