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Conflict Resolution, Public Goods and Patent Thickets

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  • Harhoff, Dietmar
  • von Graevenitz, Georg
  • Wagner, Stefan

Abstract

Post-grant validity challenges at patent offices rely on the private initiative of third parties to correct mistakes made by patent offices. We hypothesize that incentives to bring post-grant validity challenges are reduced when many firms benefit from revocation of a patent and when firms are caught up in patent thickets. Using data on opposition against patents at the European Patent Office we show that opposition decreases in fields in which many others profit from patent revocations. Moreover, in fields with a large number of mutually blocking patents the incidence of opposition is sharply reduced, particularly among large firms and firms that are caught up directly in patent thickets. These findings indicate that post-grant patent review may not constitute an effective correction device for erroneous patent grants in technologies affected by either patent thickets or highly dispersed patent ownership.

Suggested Citation

  • Harhoff, Dietmar & von Graevenitz, Georg & Wagner, Stefan, 2013. "Conflict Resolution, Public Goods and Patent Thickets," CEPR Discussion Papers 9468, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9468
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    Cited by:

    1. Dr Chiara Rosazza Bondibene, 2012. "A Study of Patent Thickets," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 401, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    2. Torrisi, Salvatore & Gambardella, Alfonso & Giuri, Paola & Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & Mariani, Myriam, 2016. "Used, blocking and sleeping patents: Empirical evidence from a large-scale inventor survey," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1374-1385.
    3. Bronwyn H Hall, 2019. "Is there a role for patents in the financing of new innovative firms?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 657-680.
    4. Gaessler, Fabian & Wagner, Stefan, 2019. "Patents, Data Exclusivity, and the Development of New Drugs," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 176, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    5. Kafouros, Mario & Aliyev, Murod & Krammer, Sorin M.S., 2021. "Do firms profit from patent litigation? The contingent roles of diversification and intangible assets," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(6).
    6. Gaessler, Fabian & Harhoff, Dietmar & Sorg, Stefan, 2019. "Bargaining Failure and Freedom to Operate: Re-evaluating the Effect of Patents on Cumulative Innovation," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 220, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    7. Gątkowski, Mateusz & Dietl, Marek & Skrok, Łukasz & Whalen, Ryan & Rockett, Katharine, 2020. "Semantically-based patent thicket identification," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(2).
    8. Joachim Henkel & Hans Zischka, 2019. "How many patents are truly valid? Extent, causes, and remedies for latent patent invalidity," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 195-239, October.
    9. Wagner, Stefan & Wakeman, Simon, 2016. "What do patent-based measures tell us about product commercialization? Evidence from the pharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 1091-1102.
    10. Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "Does fragmented or heterogeneous IP ownership stifle investments in innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-096, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intellectual property; opposition; patent litigation; patent thickets; patents; post-grant review;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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