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Stronger protection or technological revolution: what is behind the recent surge in patenting?

  • Kortum, Samuel
  • Lerner, Josh

We investigate the cause of an unprecedented surge of U.S. patenting over the past" decade. Conventional wisdom points to the establishment of the Court of Appeals of the" Federal Circuit by Congress in 1982. We examine whether this institutional change benefitted patent holders, explains the burst in U.S. patenting. Using both international and" domestic data on patent applications and awards, we conclude that the evidence is not favorable" to the conventional view. Instead, it appears that the jump in patenting reflects an increase in" U.S. innovation spurred by changes in the management of research.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 48 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 247-304

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Handle: RePEc:eee:crcspp:v:48:y:1998:i::p:247-304
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jme

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  1. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Lacy Glenn Thomas, 1990. "Regulation and Firm Size: FDA Impacts on Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 497-517, Winter.
  3. Samuel S. Kortum, 1997. "Research, Patenting, and Technological Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1389-1420, November.
  4. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jean O. Lanjouw & Josh Lerner, 1996. "Preliminary Injunctive Relief: Theory and Evidence from Patent Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bartel, Ann P & Thomas, Lacy Glenn, 1987. "Predation through Regulation: The Wage and Profit Effects of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 239-64, October.
  7. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ledders In The Theory Of Growth," Papers 148, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  8. Jonathan Eaton & Robert Evenson & Samuel Kortum & Poorti Marino & Jonathan Putnam, 1998. "Technological Specialization in International Patenting," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 81, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  9. Edwin Mansfield, 1986. "Patents and Innovation: An Empirical Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(2), pages 173-181, February.
  10. Joshua Lerner, 1994. "The Importance of Patent Scope: An Empirical Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 319-333, Summer.
  11. Mansfield, Edwin & Schwartz, Mark & Wagner, Samuel, 1981. "Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 907-18, December.
  12. Brown, ]William H., 1995. "Trends in patent renewals at the United States patent and trademark office," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 225-234, December.
  13. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
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