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Factors Affecting the Power of Patent Rights

  • Paul H. Jensen

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Elizabeth Webster


    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

In this paper, we identify three policy instruments governments have at their disposal to affect the power of patent rights to prevent imitation: the size of the inventive step used to make the patent granting decision, the rigour of the patent examination process and the predisposition of the courts to affirm the patent office’s decision. We develop a simple framework to analyse the effects of changing these policy instruments on ex ante investment in invention in the light of recent concerns about the potential effects of socially undesirable patents.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2004n31.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2004n31
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
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  1. Nancy Gallini & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2002. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," Law and Economics 0201001, EconWPA.
  2. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-97, September.
  3. Lemley, Mark, 2000. "Rational Ignorance at the Patent Office," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1tc166q2, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  4. Mark A. Lemley & Carl Shapiro, 2005. "Probabilistic Patents," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 75-98, Spring.
  5. Allison, John R. & Lemley, Mark & Moore, Kimberly A. & Trunkey, Derek, 2003. "Valuable Patents," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1m16k7w3, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
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