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Deferred Patent Examination

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  • Rudyk, Ilja
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    Abstract

    Most patent systems allow applicants to defer patent examination by some time. Deferred examination was introduced in the 1960s, first at the Dutch patent office and subsequently in many other countries, as a response to mounting backlogs of unexamined patent applications. Some applicants allow the examination option to lapse and never request examination once they learn about the value of their invention. Examination loads are reduced substantially in these systems, albeit at the cost of having a large number of pending patent applications. Economic models of patent examination and renewal have largely ignored this important feature to date. We construct a model of patent application, examination and renewal in which applicants have control over the timing of examination and study the tradeoffs that applicants face. Using data from the Canadian patent office and a simulated GMM estimator, we obtain estimates for parameter values of the value distributions and of the learning process. We use our estimates to assess the value of Canadian patents as well as applications. We find that a considerable part of the value is realized before a patent is even granted. In addition, we simulate the counterfactual impact of changes in the deferment period. The estimates we obtain for the value of one additional year of deferment are relatively high and may explain why some applicants embark on delay tactics (such as continuations or divisionals) in patent systems without a statutory deferment option.

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    File URL: http://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17241/1/416.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 416.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:416

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    Keywords: patent; patent value; value of patent applications; patent examination; deferred patent examination;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. McFadden, Daniel, 1989. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models without Numerical Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 995-1026, September.
    2. Ariel Pakes, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," NBER Working Papers 1340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Marc Baudry & BĂ©atrice Dumont, 2009. "A Bayesian Real Option Approach to Patents and Optimal Renewal Fees," Working Papers hal-00419330, HAL.
    6. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters, in: R & D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Dietmar Harhoff & Stefan Wagner, 2009. "The Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(12), pages 1969-1984, December.
    8. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1999. "On the Optimality of the Patent Renewal System," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 181-196, Summer.
    9. Francesca Cornelli & Mark Schankerman, 1999. "Patent Renewals and R&D Incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 197-213, Summer.
    10. Pakes, Ariel & Pollard, David, 1989. "Simulation and the Asymptotics of Optimization Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1027-57, September.
    11. Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-28, Spring.
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