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Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Post-grant Opposition

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  • Bronwyn H. Hall
  • Stuart J.H. Graham
  • Dietmar Harhoff

Abstract

The recent surge in U.S. patenting and expansion of patentable subject matter has increased patent office backlogs and raised concerns that in some cases patents of insufficient quality or with inadequate search of prior art are being issued. At the same time patent litigation and its costs are rising. This paper explores the potential of a post-grant review process modeled on the European opposition system to improve patent quality, reveal overlooked prior art, and reduce subsequent litigation. We argue that the welfare gains to such a system may be substantial.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9731.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Publication status: published as Bronwyn H. Hall, Stuart Graham, Dietmar Harhoff, David C. Mowery. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Postgrant Opposition," in Adam B. Jaffe, Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors, "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 4" The MIT Press (2004)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9731

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  1. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2003. "Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," NBER Working Papers 9717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jean Olson Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2001. "Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights," NBER Working Papers 8656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Allison, John R. & Lemley, Mark & Moore, Kimberly A. & Trunkey, Derek, 2003. "Valuable Patents," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1m16k7w3, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  4. Robert M. Hunt, 2001. "You can patent that? Are patents on computer programs and business methods good for the new economy?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q1, pages 5-15.
  5. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights," CEPR Discussion Papers 3093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2002. "Determinants of Opposition Against EPO Patent Grants - The Case of Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals," CEPR Discussion Papers 3645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
  9. Jonathan Levin & Richard Levin, . "Patent Oppositions," Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy Working Paper Series yale_lepp-1005, Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy.
  10. Cremers, Katrin, 2004. "Determinants of Patent Litigation in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-72, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
  12. Kingston, William, 2001. "Innovation needs patents reform," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 403-423, March.
  13. Jean Olson Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2001. "Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 30, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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