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When the clock starts ticking: Measuring strategic responses to TRIPS's patent term change

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  • Lemus, Jorge
  • Marshall, Guillermo

Abstract

As a consequence of the patent term harmonization introduced by TRIPS, the term of U.S. patents became contingent on how quickly the patents are granted. We find that patent applicants strategically responded to this change in incentives. In the pharmaceutical industry, narrower patents with less detailed descriptions allowed applicants to reduce the approval time by 10.8% (170 days). Also consistent with a ticking clock, we find a reduction in the use of continuations across all industries. Our results suggest that the patent term change created long-lasting efficiencies in the patent office.

Suggested Citation

  • Lemus, Jorge & Marshall, Guillermo, 2018. "When the clock starts ticking: Measuring strategic responses to TRIPS's patent term change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 796-804.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:4:p:796-804
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.02.008
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    Cited by:

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    2. Sinha, Avik & Sengupta, Tuhin & Saha, Tanaya, 2020. "Technology policy and environmental quality at crossroads: Designing SDG policies for select Asia Pacific countries," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 161(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    TRIPS; Patents; Length; Breadth; Disclosure; Continuations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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