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Cheaper patents

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  • Nicholas, Tom

Abstract

The 1883 Patents Act in Britain provides perspective for modern patent policy reforms because it radically changed incentives for inventors by reducing filing fees by 84 percent. Patents increased 2.5-fold after the reform, which was evenly distributed across the geography of inventors, the organization of invention and sectors. By realizing a large demand for cheaper patents the reform increased the propensity to patent and shifted inventive activity inside the patent system. It did not increase innovation as measured by changes in the distribution of high and low value patents and citations to English inventor patents in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas, Tom, 2011. "Cheaper patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 325-339, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:2:p:325-339
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dr Chiara Rosazza Bondibene, 2012. "A Study of Patent Thickets," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 401, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    2. Henry, Emeric & Ruiz-Aliseda, Francisco, 2012. "Innovation Beyond Patents: Technological Complexity as a Protection against Imitation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8870, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Adam B. Jaffe, 2018. "Are patent fees effective at weeding out low‐quality patents?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 134-148, March.
    4. Burton, M. Diane & Nicholas, Tom, 2017. "Prizes, patents and the search for longitude," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 21-36.
    5. Matthew Gibbons & Les Oxley, 2017. "New Perspectives on Patenting Activity in New Zealand 1860-1899," Working Papers in Economics 17/04, University of Waikato.

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