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Public Disclosure of Patent Applications, R&D, and Welfare

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  • Aoki, Reiko
  • Spiegel, Yossi

Abstract

In Europe and in Japan, patent applications are publicly disclosed after 18 month from the filing date regardless of whether a patent has been or will be registered. In the U.S. in contrast, patent applications are publicly disclosed only when a patent is granted. In this paper we examine the consequences of this difference for (i) firm's R&D and patenting behavior, (ii) consumers' surplus and social welfare, and (iii) the incentives of firms to innovate, in a setting where patent protection is imperfect in the sense that patent applications may be rejected and patents are not always upheld in court. The main conclusions are that public disclosure leads to fewer patent applications and fewer innovations, but for a given number of innovations, it raises the probability that new technologies will reach the product market and thereby enhances consumers' surplus and possibly total welfare as well .

Suggested Citation

  • Aoki, Reiko & Spiegel, Yossi, 1998. "Public Disclosure of Patent Applications, R&D, and Welfare," Working Papers 156, Department of Economics, The University of Auckland.
  • Handle: RePEc:auc:wpaper:156
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/156
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    Cited by:

    1. Rockett, Katharine, 2010. "Property Rights and Invention," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.),Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 315-380, Elsevier.
    2. Cohen, Wesley M. & Goto, Akira & Nagata, Akiya & Nelson, Richard R. & Walsh, John P., 2002. "R&D spillovers, patents and the incentives to innovate in Japan and the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1349-1367, December.

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    Keywords

    R&D; Economics;

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