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Examination workloads, grant decision bias and examination quality of patent office

Author

Listed:
  • Junbyoung Oh

    (Department of Economics, Inha University)

  • Yee Kyoung Kim

    (Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning)

Abstract

This paper investigates how increased examination workloads at patent office affect the patent examination process and tests whether workloads have any external effect on examiners' decisions. Using novel micro-level data, we provide the first empirical evidence that examiner decisions are systematically biased as workload increases, with examiners being more likely to grant a patent than to reject it. The regression results also indicate that the quality of examinations decreases as workload increases. In appeal trials, the likelihood of grant decision reversal significantly increases as workload increases, while the likelihood of the revocation of a refusal decision exhibits statistically significant negative relationship with increased workloads. These results imply that an examiner who lacks sufficient time for a prior art search tends to grant a patent and, consequently, a large workload decreases the quality of examinations by resulting in unqualified patents.

Suggested Citation

  • Junbyoung Oh & Yee Kyoung Kim, 2017. "Examination workloads, grant decision bias and examination quality of patent office," Inha University IBER Working Paper Series 2017-3, Inha University, Institute of Business and Economic Research, revised Apr 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:inh:wpaper:2017-3
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    File URL: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B39YVuPWzf0ZdExTSnlvZmlhd1E
    File Function: First version, 2017
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    Cited by:

    1. Corinne Langinier & Philippe Marcoul, 2019. "Subjective performance of patent examiners, implicit contracts, and self‐funded patent offices," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(3), pages 251-266, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Examination workloads; grant decision bias; type II error; quality of examinations;

    JEL classification:

    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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