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Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents

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  • Graham, Stuart J.H.
  • Harhoff, Dietmar

Abstract

This paper assesses the impact of adopting a post-grant review institution in the US patent system by comparing the “opposition careers” of European Patent Office (EPO) equivalents of litigated US patents to those of a control group of EPO patents. We demonstrate several novel methods of "twinning" US and European patents and investigate the implications of employing these different methods in our data analysis. We find that EPO equivalents of US litigated patent applications are more likely to be awarded EPO patent protection than are equivalents of unlitigated patents, and the opposition rate for EPO equivalents of US litigated patents is about three times higher than for equivalents of unlitigated patents. Patents attacked under European opposition are shown to be either revoked completely or narrowed in about 70 percent of all cases. For EPO equivalents of US litigated patents, the appeal rate against opposition outcomes is considerably higher than for control-group patents. Based on our estimates, we calculate a range of net welfare benefits that would accrue from adopting a post-grant review system. Our results provide strong evidence that the United States could benefit substantially from adopting an administrative post-grant patent review, provided that the post-grant mechanism is not too costly.

Suggested Citation

  • Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 5680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5680
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    1. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-151, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nils Omland, 2011. "Valuing Patents through Indicators," Chapters,in: The Economic Valuation of Patents, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Neuhäusler, Peter, 2008. "Patente in Europa und den USA: Veränderungen ab 1991 aufgezeigt an Gesamtzahlen und dem Technologiefeld des Ubiquitous Computing," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 14, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    3. 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.
    4. Malwina Mejer & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2012. "Economic incongruities in the European patent system," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 215-234, August.
    5. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2016. "Patent oppositions and opposition outcomes: evidence from domestic appliance companies," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 183-203, February.
    6. Siebert, Ralph Bernd & Graevenitz, Georg von, 2010. "Licensing in the Patent Thicket - Timing and Benefits," MPRA Paper 24007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. 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.
    8. Rockett, Katharine, 2010. "Property Rights and Invention," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    9. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2011. "The quality factor in patent systems," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1755-1793, December.
    10. de Saint-Georges, Matthis & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "A quality index for patent systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 704-719.
    11. Andreas Panagopoulos & In-Uck Park, 2008. "Patent Protection, Takeovers, and Startup Innovation: A Dynamic Approach," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/201, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    12. 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.
    13. Catherine Beaudry & Andrea Schiffauerova, 2011. "Is Canadian intellectual property leaving Canada? A study of nanotechnology patenting," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(6), pages 665-679, December.
    14. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2009. "From patent renewals to applications survival: do portfolio management strategies play a role in patent length?," Working Papers CEB 09-028.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    15. Katrin Cremers & Paula Schliessler, 2015. "Patent litigation settlement in Germany: why parties settle during trial," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 185-208, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    litigation; opposition; patent system; post-grant review;

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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