IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v55y2009i12p1969-1984.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office

Author

Listed:
  • Dietmar Harhoff

    () (Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship, School of Management, University of Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany; and Centre for Economic Policy Research, London EC1V 0DG, United Kingdom)

  • Stefan Wagner

    () (Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship, School of Management, University of Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany)

Abstract

We analyze the duration and outcomes of patent examination at the European Patent Office utilizing an unusually rich data set covering a random sample of 215,265 applications filed between 1982 and 1998. In our empirical analysis, we distinguish between three groups of determinants: applicant characteristics, indicators of patent quality and value, and determinants that affect the complexity of the examination task. The results from an accelerated failure time model indicate that more controversial claims lead to slower grants but faster withdrawals, whereas well-documented applications are approved faster and withdrawn more slowly. We find strong evidence that applicants accelerate grant proceedings for their most valuable patents, but that they also prolong the battle for such patents if a withdrawal or refusal is imminent. This paper develops implications of these results for managerial decision making in research and development and innovation management.

Suggested Citation

  • Dietmar Harhoff & Stefan Wagner, 2009. "The Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(12), pages 1969-1984, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:55:y:2009:i:12:p:1969-1984
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1090.1069
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1090.1069
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Régibeau, P & Rockett, K, 2003. "Are More Important Patents Approved More Slowly and Should They Be?," Economics Discussion Papers 2850, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    2. Mark A. Lemley & Carl Shapiro, 2005. "Probabilistic Patents," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 75-98, Spring.
    3. Popp David & Juhl Ted & Johnson Daniel K.N., 2004. "Time In Purgatory: Examining the Grant Lag for U.S. Patent Applications," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-45, November.
    4. Thomas, Jonathan M, 1996. "On the Interpretation of Covariate Estimates in Independent Competing-Risks Models," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 27-39, January.
    5. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
    6. Georg Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner & Dietmar Harhoff, 2013. "Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets: The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 521-563, September.
    7. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2005. "Exploring the Patent Explosion," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 35-48, January.
    8. Tom Lee & Louis L. Wilde, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-436.
    9. Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2004. "Determinants of opposition against EPO patent grants--the case of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 443-480, April.
    10. Glenn C. Loury, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410.
    11. Johnson, Daniel K N & Popp, David, 2003. "Forced Out of the Closet: The Impact of the American Inventors Protection Act on the Timing of Patent Disclosure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 96-112, Spring.
    12. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
    13. Joshua S. Gans & David H. Hsu & Scott Stern, 2008. "The Impact of Uncertain Intellectual Property Rights on the Market for Ideas: Evidence from Patent Grant Delays," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(5), pages 982-997, May.
    14. Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson & Adam Jaffe, 1997. "University Versus Corporate Patents: A Window On The Basicness Of Invention," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 19-50.
    15. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1993. "Strategic spillovers in patent races," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 139-146, March.
    16. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
    17. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, April.
    18. Pitkethly, Robert H., 2001. "Intellectual property strategy in Japanese and UK companies: patent licensing decisions and learning opportunities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 425-442, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kenneth Zahringer & Christos Kolympiris & Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, 2018. "Time to patent at the USPTO: the case of emerging entrepreneurial firms," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 923-952, August.
    2. Dietmar Harhoff & Georg von Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner, 2016. "Conflict Resolution, Public Goods, and Patent Thickets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(3), pages 704-721, March.
    3. Juranek, Steffen, 2018. "Investing in legal advice," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 28-46.
    4. Andrew Eckert & Corinne Langinier, 2014. "A Survey Of The Economics Of Patent Systems And Procedures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5), pages 996-1015, December.
    5. Wagner, Stefan & Wakeman, Simon, 2016. "What do patent-based measures tell us about product commercialization? Evidence from the pharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 1091-1102.
    6. Caviggioli, Federico & De Marco, Antonio & Montobbio, Fabio & Ughetto, Elisa, 2020. "The licensing and selling of inventions by US universities," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 159(C).
    7. Aditi Mehta & Marc Rysman & Tim Simcoe, 2006. "Identifying the Age Profile of Patent Citations," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-022, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    8. Blind, Knut & Cremers, Katrin & Mueller, Elisabeth, 2009. "The influence of strategic patenting on companies' patent portfolios," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 428-436, March.
    9. Tong, Tony W. & Zhang, Kun & He, Zi-Lin & Zhang, Yuchen, 2018. "What determines the duration of patent examination in China? An outcome-specific duration analysis of invention patent applications at SIPO," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 583-591.
    10. Georg Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner & Dietmar Harhoff, 2013. "Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets: The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 521-563, September.
    11. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Yann Ménière & Myra Mohnen, 2017. "International patent families: from application strategies to statistical indicators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(2), pages 793-828, May.
    12. 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).
    13. Hoenen, Sebastian & Kolympiris, Christos & Schoenmakers, Wilfred & Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas, 2014. "The diminishing signaling value of patents between early rounds of venture capital financing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 956-989.
    14. Liegsalz, Johannes & Wagner, Stefan, 2013. "Patent examination at the State Intellectual Property Office in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 552-563.
    15. Justus Baron & Henry Delcamp, 2012. "The private and social value of patents in discrete and cumulative innovation," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 90(2), pages 581-606, February.
    16. 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.
    17. Amore, Mario Daniele & Schneider, Cédric & Žaldokas, Alminas, 2013. "Credit supply and corporate innovation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 835-855.
    18. 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.
    19. Alfonso Gambardella & Dietmar Harhoff & Bart Verspagen, 2017. "The economic value of patent portfolios," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 735-756, December.
    20. Dirk Czarnitzki & Katrin Hussinger & Cédric Schneider, 2015. "R&D Collaboration with Uncertain Intellectual Property Rights," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 46(2), pages 183-204, March.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:55:y:2009:i:12:p:1969-1984. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Matthew Walls). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.