The grace period in international patent law and its effect on the timing of disclosure
The paper applies a novel methodology to US and EPO patent data to assess how often the "general grace period" exception is used in the USA and the likely impact of international patent regulations that almost invariably deny such use on the pace of new disclosures in academia. Comparisons of average publication delays of European academic inventors show that the grace period accelerates knowledge communication and that variations are likely to depend on a lack of harmonisation of international legal systems, transaction costs and the presence of a firm among patent assignees.
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