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How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data

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  • Jean O. Lanjouw
  • Ariel Pakes
  • Jonathan Putnam

Abstract

Patent counts are very imperfect measures of innovative output. This paper discusses how additional data-the number of years a patent is renewed and the number of countries in which protection for the same invention is sought - can be used to improve on counts in studies which require a measure of the extent of innovation. A simple renewal based weighting scheme is proposed which may remove half of the noise in patent counts as a measure of innovative output. The paper also illustrates how these data can be used to estimate the value of the proprietary rights created by the patent laws. The parameters estimated in this analysis can be used to answer a series of questions related to the value of patents. We illustrate with estimates of how the value of patent protection would vary under alternative legal rules and renewal fees, and with estimates of the international flows of returns from the patent system. Recent progress in the development of databases has increased the potential for this type of analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5741.

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Date of creation: Sep 1996
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Publication status: published as The Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. XLVI, no. 4 (1998): 405-433.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5741

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  1. Pakes, Ariel & Griliches, Zvi, 1980. "Patents and R&D at the firm level: A first report," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 377-381.
  2. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jean Olson Lanjouw, 1993. "Patent Protection: Of What Value and for How Long?," NBER Working Papers 4475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-84, July.
  6. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
  7. Francesca Cornelli & Mark Schankerman, 1996. "Optimal patent renewals," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3734, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Simon Kuznets, 1962. "Inventive Activity: Problems of Definition and Measurement," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 19-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Samuel Kortum, 1995. "Research and productivity growth: theory and evidence from patent data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Scherer, Frederic Michael, 1996. "The size distribution of profits from innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 96-13, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-95, October.
  12. Francesca Cornelli & Mark Schankerman, 1996. "Optimal Patent Renewals," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 13, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  13. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Lach, Saul, 1995. "Patents and productivity growth at the industry level: A first look," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 101-108, July.
  15. Robert Evenson, 1984. "International Invention: Implications for Technology Market Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: R & D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 89-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Sullivan, Richard J, 1994. "Estimates of the Value of Patent Rights in Great Britain and Ireland, 1852-1876," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(241), pages 37-58, February.
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