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Live and Let Live: A Tale of Weak Patents

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  • Jay Pil Choi

    (Michigan State University,)

Abstract

Patent protection has gradually expanded over time, and many patents of suspect value are routinely granted owing to the lack of rigorous scrutiny in the examination process. This has resulted in the recent explosion of patents granted and potentially creates a "patent thicket"that hinders future innovation. I investigate the question of whether the litigation process can be relied on to restore competition when an imperfect market outcome is sustained through patents of suspect value. The analysis undertaken in the paper points out the serious lack of private incentives to eliminate patents of suspect value through litigation. I also discuss potential measures to restore the soundness of the patent system. (JEL: O3, L1, L4, D8, K4) Copyright (c) 2005 The European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Jay Pil Choi, 2005. "Live and Let Live: A Tale of Weak Patents," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 724-733, 04/05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:3:y:2005:i:2-3:p:724-733
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lei, Zhen & Wright, Brian D., 2017. "Why weak patents? Testing the examiner ignorance hypothesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 43-56.
    2. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Legros, 2013. "‘Essential’ Patents, FRAND Royalties and Technological Standards," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 913-937, December.
    3. Nancy Gallini, 2011. "Private agreements for coordinating patent rights: the case of patent pools," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2011(3), pages 5-30.
    4. 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.
    5. Richman Jesse T., 2012. "The Political Economy of Congressional Patent Policymaking in the Late 20th Century," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 91-100, May.
    6. Lei, Zhen & Wright, Brian D., 2009. "Why weak patents? Rational ignorance or pro-"customer" Tilt?," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49279, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Comino, Stefano & Graziano, Clara, 2015. "How many patents does it take to signal innovation quality?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 66-79.
    8. Chen, Yongmin & Pan, Shiyuan & Zhang, Tianle, 2014. "(When) Do stronger patents increase continual innovation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 115-124.
    9. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2008. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1347-1369, September.
    10. Gallini, Nancy, 2015. "Promoting Competition by Coordinating Prices: When Rivals Share Intellectual Property," Economics working papers nancy_gallini-2015-22, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 07 Dec 2015.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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