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Obtaining certainty vs. creating uncertainty: Does firms’ patent filing strategy work as expected?

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  • Zhang, Gupeng
  • Xiong, Libin
  • Duan, Hongbo
  • Huang, Dujuan

Abstract

Based on a dataset from China that covers 426,512 invention patents, this study investigates firms’ patent filing strategy embedded in the examination request lag and tests their effectiveness. Based on survival model and Probit model, we employ the patent renewal and invalidation data to test the market's reactions and rivals’ counteractions, respectively. The results show that to obtain certainty, firms tend to intentionally delay their examination request for potentially valuable patents. This delay may be effective in enabling the firms to obtain a higher realized value from their patent right in China. To create uncertainty for rivals, firms may intentionally delay the examination request and simultaneously file a large number of patents. Firms also tend to delay the examination request in either new technology fields or technology fields in which patent filings increase rapidly, with the intention of dealing with the external uncertainty. However, rivals may counteract these delays by appealing for patent invalidations, which may lead to an efficiency loss in the patent system. We discuss these results in the specific legal and market contexts of China.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Gupeng & Xiong, Libin & Duan, Hongbo & Huang, Dujuan, 2020. "Obtaining certainty vs. creating uncertainty: Does firms’ patent filing strategy work as expected?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 160(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:tefoso:v:160:y:2020:i:c:s004016252031060x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120234
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    1. Higham, Kyle & de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Jaffe, Adam B., 2021. "Patent Quality: Towards a Systematic Framework for Analysis and Measurement," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(4).

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