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Patent office Governance and Patent System Quality

  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe
  • Pierre M. Picard

The present paper discusses the role of quality in patent systems from the perspective of patent offices'’behavior and organization. After documenting original stylized facts, the paper presents a model in which patent offices set patent fees and the quality level of their examination processes. Various objectives of patent offices' governors are considered. We show that the quality of the patent system is maximal for the patent offices that maximises either the social welfare or its own profit. Quality is lower for the self-funded patent office maximizing the number of patent applications and even smaller for the self-funded patent office maximizing the number of granted patents. A labor union improves examination quality and may compensate for the potentialy inappropriate objectives of patent office management.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/82355/1/2011-007-PICARD_VANPOTTELSBERGHE-patentoffice.pdf
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number ECARES 2011-007.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/82355
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  1. Gilbert, R. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Optimal Patent Length And Breadth," Papers 28, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  2. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the cost of patenting in Europe," Working Papers 264, Bruegel.
  3. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2010. "The quality factor in patent systems," Working Papers 422, Bruegel.
  4. Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2013. "The Role Of Fees In Patent Systems: Theory And Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 696-716, 09.
  5. 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.
  6. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "On the price elasticity of demand for patents," Working Papers CEB 08-031.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Duranton, Gilles & Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian, 2010. "The Economics of Clusters: Lessons from the French Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199592203, March.
  8. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2008. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1347-69, September.
  9. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
  10. Scherer, F M, 1972. "Nordhaus' Theory of Optimal Patent Life: A Geometric Reinterpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 422-27, June.
  11. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P & Lampe Ryan, 2004. "Patent Renewal Fees and Self-Funding Patent Offices," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-15, July.
  12. Dewatripont, Mathias & Legros, Patrick, 2008. "'Essential' Patents, FRAND Royalties and Technological Standards," CEPR Discussion Papers 6925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The Economics of the European Patent System: IP Policy for Innovation and Competition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216987, March.
  14. Langinier, Corinne & Marcoul, Philippe, 2007. "Patents, Search of Prior Art, and Revelation of Information," Staff General Research Papers 10489, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  15. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
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