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Patent Pendency, Learning Effects, and Innovation Importance at the US Patent Office

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  • Régibeau, P
  • Rockett, K
  • Mariam, S

Abstract

We replicate and extend the results of Regibeau and Rockett (2010) on a new data set. We confirm that importance of a patent and the delay in approval at the patent office are negatively related. This relation survives even if we do not control for learning effects and so suggests that carefully defining the technology is sufficient to recover the negative relation. We use new measures to test for the existence of patent "thickets", thereby ruling out some strategic considerations in delay behaviour. It appears that delay is attributable to patent office, not filer, behaviour in our sample. A more careful analysis of the possible effect of examiner workload finds that larger workloads per examiner are associated with shorter approval time, lending credence to Lemley and Shapiro's concern that heavy workloads force examiners to devote too little time to each patent review.

Suggested Citation

  • Régibeau, P & Rockett, K & Mariam, S, 2012. "Patent Pendency, Learning Effects, and Innovation Importance at the US Patent Office," Economics Discussion Papers 2863, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:2863
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark A. Lemley & Carl Shapiro, 2005. "Probabilistic Patents," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 75-98, Spring.
    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. Caillaud, Bernard & Duchêne, Anne, 2011. "Patent office in innovation policy: Nobody's perfect," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 242-252, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1993, Volume 8, pages 15-86 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Langinier, Corinne & Marcoul, Philippe, 2007. "Patents, Search of Prior Art, and Revelation of Information," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10489, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Johnson, Daniel K N & Popp, David, 2003. " Forced Out of the Closet: The Impact of the American Inventors Protection Act on the Timing of Patent Disclosure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 96-112, Spring.
    9. von Graevenitz, Georg & Wagner, Stefan & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2011. "How to measure patent thickets--A novel approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 6-9, April.
    10. Pierre Régibeau & Katharine Rockett, 2010. "INNOVATION CYCLES AND LEARNING AT THE PATENT OFFICE: DOES THE EARLY PATENT GET THE DELAY? -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 222-246, June.
    11. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, April.
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