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The quality factor in patent systems

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  • van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno

Abstract

This paper develops a methodology to compare the quality of examination services across patent offices. Quality is defined as the extent to which patent offices comply with their patentability conditions in a transparent way. The methodology consists of a two-layer analytical framework encompassing "legal standards" and their "operational design", which includes several interdependent components that affect the stringency and transparency of the filtering process. The comparison of patent offices in Europe (EPO), Japan (JPO) and the US (USPTO) shows that their operational designs differ substantially: the EPO provides higher-quality and more expensive services than the USPTO, while the JPO is in an intermediate position. These results illustrate that different system designs lead to different outcomes in term of backlogs, patent propensity and the number of dubious patent rights in force. In this respect, they: 1) provide an empirical validation of Jaffe and Lerner's (2004) conjecture of a vicious cycle between quality of examinations and demand for patents; and 2) highlight the need for a multi-faceted convergence of patent systems before mutual recognition is put in place.

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  • van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "The quality factor in patent systems," CEPR Discussion Papers 7921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7921
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanna Hottenrott & Bronwyn H. Hall & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2016. "Patents as quality signals? The implications for financing constraints on R&D," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 197-217, April.
    2. 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.
    3. David Encaoua & Thierry Madiès, 2012. "Dysfunctions of the patent system and their effects on competition," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00740716, HAL.
    4. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Dernis, Hélène & Guellec, Dominique & Picci, Lucio & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "The worldwide count of priority patents: A new indicator of inventive activity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 720-737.
    5. Jérôme Danguy & Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2014. "On the origins of the worldwide surge in patenting: an industry perspective on the R&D–patent relationship," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 535-572.
    6. Johannes Koenen & Martin Peitz, 2012. "The Economics of Pending Patents," Chapters,in: Recent Advances in the Analysis of Competition Policy and Regulation, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Caviggioli, Federico & Scellato, Giuseppe & Ughetto, Elisa, 2013. "International patent disputes: Evidence from oppositions at the European Patent Office," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1634-1646.
    8. Danguy, Jérôme & de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "The R&D-patent relationship: An industry perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 8145, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Useche, Diego, 2014. "Are patents signals for the IPO market? An EU–US comparison for the software industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1299-1311.
    10. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Pierre M. Picard, 2011. "Patent office Governance and Patent System Quality," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-007, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Zheng, Cheng & Kammen, Daniel M., 2014. "An innovation-focused roadmap for a sustainable global photovoltaic industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 159-169.
    12. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Adam B. Jaffe, 2014. "Are Patent Fees Effective at Weeding out Low-quality Patents?," NBER Working Papers 20785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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.
    14. David Encaoua & Thierry Madiès, 2012. "Dysfunctions of the patent system and their effects on competition," Working Papers halshs-00740716, HAL.
    15. 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.
    16. Markus Eberhardt & Christian Helmers & Zhihong Yu, "undated". "Is the Dragon Learning to Fly? An Analysis of the Chinese Patent Explosion," Discussion Papers 11/16, University of Nottingham, GEP.
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    19. Clarysse, Bart & Wright, Mike & Bruneel, Johan & Mahajan, Aarti, 2014. "Creating value in ecosystems: Crossing the chasm between knowledge and business ecosystems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1164-1176.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intellectual property; patent propensity; patent system; quality;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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