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Conflict resolution, public goods and patent thickets

Author

Listed:
  • Dietmar Harhoff

    (University of Munich)

  • Georg von Graevenitz

    (University of East Anglia in London)

  • Stefan Wagner

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

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

  • Dietmar Harhoff & Georg von Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner, 2012. "Conflict resolution, public goods and patent thickets," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-12-04 (R1), ESMT European School of Management and Technology, revised 25 Mar 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-12-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2018. "Is There a Role for Patents in the Financing of Innovative Firms?," NBER Working Papers 24370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "Does fragmented or heterogeneous IP ownership stifle investments in innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-096, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intellectual property; opposition; patent litigation; patent thickets; patents; 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
    • 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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