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Are More Important Patents Approved More Slowly and Should They Be?

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  • Régibeau, P
  • Rockett, K

Abstract

Innovative activities often are heavily regulated. Reviews conducted by administrative agencies take time and are not perfectly accurate. Of particular concern is whether, by design or not, such agencies discriminate against more important innovations by taking more time to perform their reviews. We study the relationship between the length of patent review and the importance of inventions in a theoretical model. We find that, controlling for the importance of innovations, the welfare-maximising patent approval delay decreases over time. Second, controlling for a patent's position in the new technology cycle, the optimal examination time decreases with the importance of patents. We test our predictions on US GM crop patent data from 1988 to 1998. The evidence supports the predictions of the theoretical model.

Suggested Citation

  • Régibeau, P & Rockett, K, 2003. "Are More Important Patents Approved More Slowly and Should They Be?," Economics Discussion Papers 2850, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:2850
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dirk Czarnitzki & Katrin Hussinger & Cédric Schneider, 2015. "R&D Collaboration with Uncertain Intellectual Property Rights," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 46(2), pages 183-204, March.
    2. Florian Schuett, 2013. "Patent quality and incentives at the patent office," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(2), pages 313-336, June.
    3. Palangkaraya, Alfons & Jensen, Paul H. & Webster, Elizabeth, 2008. "Applicant behaviour in patent examination request lags," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 243-245, December.
    4. Liegsalz, Johannes & Wagner, Stefan, 2013. "Patent examination at the State Intellectual Property Office in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 552-563.
    5. Schneider, Cédric, 2007. "The Determinants of Patent Applications Outcomes - Does Experience Matter?," MPRA Paper 3359, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Bottazzi, Laura, 2009. "The role of venture capital in alleviating financial constraints of innovative firms," EIB Papers 9/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    7. Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Stefan, 2005. "Modelling the duration of patent examination at the European Patent Office," CEPR Discussion Papers 5283, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Murray, Fiona & Stern, Scott, 2007. "Do formal intellectual property rights hinder the free flow of scientific knowledge?: An empirical test of the anti-commons hypothesis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 648-687, August.
    9. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2009. "Filing strategies and the increasing duration of patent applications," Working Papers CEB 09-005.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. Darcy, Jacques & Krämer-Eis, Helmut & Guellec, Dominique & Debande, Olivier, 2009. "Financing technology transfer," EIB Papers 10/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    11. Conti, M & Régibeau, P & Rockett, K, 2003. "How Basic is (Patented) University Research? The Case of GM Crops," Economics Discussion Papers 2846, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    12. Harhoff, Dietmar, 2009. "The role of patents and licenses in securing external finance for innovation," EIB Papers 11/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    13. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2010. "The Financing of Innovative Firms," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 1(1).
    14. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2011. "Long Live Patents: the Increasing Life Expectancy of Patent Applications and its Determinants," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(3).
    15. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2009. "From patent renewals to applications survival: do portfolio management strategies play a role in patent length?," Working Papers CEB 09-028.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    16. Florian Schuett, 2013. "Inventors and Impostors: An Analysis of Patent Examination with Self-Selection of Firms into R&D," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 660-699, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • 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

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