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Patent Application Outcomes across the Trilateral Patent Offices

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  • Paul H. Jensen

    () (Centre for Microeconometrics, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne)

  • Alfons Palangkaraya

    (Centre for Microeconometrics, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne)

  • Elizabeth Webster

    (Centre for Microeconometrics, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

While most developed countries apply the same criteria to determine whether an invention is eligible to be protected by a patent, there are substantial procedural differences in the way in which different patent offices examine a patent application. This means that a patent application may be granted in one jurisdiction but rejected in others, which raises welfare concerns about the ability of patents to provide an ex ante incentive for investment. In this article, we analyze whether there are systematic differences in patent application outcomes across the trilateral patent offices. In order to determine how much “disharmony” exists, we examine whether the patent offices make consistent decisions for a given invention using a dataset of 70,000 patent applications that have been granted in the US and submitted in Japan and Europe and have a single, common priority application. Specifically, we model the patent application outcomes using a multinomial logit to see how the decisions made by the patent offices vary across different patent characteristics such as technology area, non-obviousness of the invention and priority country.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul H. Jensen & Alfons Palangkaraya & Elizabeth Webster, 2005. "Patent Application Outcomes across the Trilateral Patent Offices," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n05, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2005n05
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2005n05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2002. "The Value of Patents and Patenting Strategies: Countries and Technology Areas Patterns," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 133-148.
    2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Guellec, Dominique & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno v., 2000. "Applications, grants and the value of patent," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 109-114, October.
    5. 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.
    6. John Barton, 2004. "Issues Posed By A World Patent System," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 341-357, June.
    7. Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2004. "Determinants of opposition against EPO patent grants--the case of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 443-480, April.
    8. Hélène Dernis & Mosahid Khan, 2004. "Triadic Patent Families Methodology," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2004/2, OECD Publishing.
    9. Paul H. Jensen & Elizabeth Webster, 2004. "Achieving the Optimal Power of Patent Rights," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 37(4), pages 419-426, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. van Zeebroeck, Nicolas & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & Guellec, Dominique, 2009. "Claiming more: the Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1006-1020, July.
    2. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 38, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2011. "The puzzle of patent value indicators," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 33-62.
    4. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patents only live twice: a patent survival analysis in Europe," Working Papers CEB 07-028.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Shobita Parthasarathy, 2011. "Whose knowledge? What values? The comparative politics of patenting life forms in the United States and Europe," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 44(3), pages 267-288, September.

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