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

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.

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Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 556.

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Date of creation: 28 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:556
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Order Information: Postal: Discussion Papers Administrator, Department of Economics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, U.K.

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  1. 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.
  2. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, 04.
  5. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 1999. "The Quality of Ideas: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," NBER Working Papers 7345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daniel K.N. Johnson & David Popp, 2001. "Forced Out of the Closet: The Impact of the American Inventors Protection Act on the Timing of Patent Disclosure," NBER Working Papers 8374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Carmen Matutes & Pierre Regibeau & Katharine Rockett, 1996. "Optimal Patent Design and the Diffusion of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 60-83, Spring.
  8. Iain M. Cockburn & Samuel Kortum & Scott Stern, 2002. "Are All Patent Examiners Equal? The Impact of Examiner Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 8980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson & Adam Jaffe, 1997. "University Versus Corporate Patents: A Window On The Basicness Of Invention," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 19-50.
  10. David Dranove & David Meltzer, 1994. "Do Important Drugs Reach the Market Sooner?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 402-423, Autumn.
  11. Mario Cleves & William W. Gould & Roberto G. Gutierrez & Yulia Marchenko, 2010. "An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number saus3, November.
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