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Do Patents Enable Disclosure? Evidence from the Invention Secrecy Act

Author

Listed:
  • Gaetan de Rassenfosse

    (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne)

  • Gabriele Pellegrino

    (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne)

  • Emilio Raiteri

    (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Abstract

This paper provides novel empirical evidence that patents enable knowledge disclosure. The analysis exploits the Invention Secrecy Act, which grants the U.S. Commissioner for Patents the right to prevent disclosure of new inventions that represent a threat to national security. Using a two-level matching approach, we document a negative and large relationship between the enforcement of a secrecy order and follow-on inventions, as captured with patent citations and text-based measures of invention similarity. The effect of secrecy orders is particularly salient for geographically-distant parties and for inventions in the same technological field as the secreted patent.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Gabriele Pellegrino & Emilio Raiteri, 2020. "Do Patents Enable Disclosure? Evidence from the Invention Secrecy Act," Working Papers 9, Chair of Innovation and IP Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:iip:wpaper:9
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    File URL: http://cdm-it.epfl.ch/RePEc/iip-wpaper/WP9.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yasusada Murata & Ryo Nakajima & Ryosuke Okamoto & Ryuichi Tamura, 2014. "Localized Knowledge Spillovers and Patent Citations: A Distance-Based Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(5), pages 967-985, December.
    2. Daniel P. Gross, 2019. "The Consequences of Invention Secrecy: Evidence from the USPTO Patent Secrecy Program in World War II," NBER Working Papers 25545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Adam B. Jaffe & Gaétan de Rassenfosse, 2017. "Patent citation data in social science research: Overview and best practices," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 68(6), pages 1360-1374, June.
    4. Agrawal, Ajay & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John, 2008. "How do spatial and social proximity influence knowledge flows? Evidence from patent data," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 258-269, September.
    5. Baruffaldi, Stefano H. & Simeth, Markus, 2020. "Patents and knowledge diffusion: The effect of early disclosure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
    6. Alcácer, Juan & Gittelman, Michelle & Sampat, Bhaven, 2009. "Applicant and examiner citations in U.S. patents: An overview and analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 415-427, March.
    7. Jeffrey L. Furman & Markus Nagler & Martin Watzinger, 2018. "Disclosure and Subsequent Innovation: Evidence from the Patent Depository Library Program," NBER Working Papers 24660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Ganglmair, Bernhard & Reimers, Imke, 2019. "Visibility of technology and cumulative innovation: Evidence from trade secrets laws," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-035, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates & Josh Lerner & Richard R. Townsend & Yulia Zhestkova, 2020. "Fencing Off Silicon Valley: Cross-Border Venture Capital and Technology Spillovers," Working Papers 2020-136, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    disclosure; follow-on invention; knowledge diffusion; patent;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • 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

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