Public Disclosure of Patent Applications, R & D, and Welfare
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. We show that public disclosure of patent applications leads to fewer 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.
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