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The disciplinary effect of post-grant review – Causal evidence from European patent opposition

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  • Nagler, Markus
  • Sorg, Stefan

Abstract

We study the causal impact of invalidating marginally valid patents during post-grant opposition at the European Patent Office on affected inventors’ subsequent patenting. We exploit exogenous variation in invalidation by leveraging the participation of a patent’s original examiner in the opposition division as an instrument. We find a disciplinary effect of invalidation: Affected inventors file significantly fewer patent applications in the decade after the decision. The effect is entirely driven by a reduction in low-quality filings, i.e., filings that examiners associate with prior art that threatens the application’s novelty or inventive step. We do not observe shifts into national patenting.

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  • Nagler, Markus & Sorg, Stefan, 2020. "The disciplinary effect of post-grant review – Causal evidence from European patent opposition," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:49:y:2020:i:3:s0048733319302331
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.103915
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inventors; Marginal patents; Patent invalidation; Patent opposition; Post-grant review; EPO; Innovation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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