Live and Let Live: A Tale of Weak Patents
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.
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Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04/05)
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