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Patent Office Governance and Patent System Quality

  • Pierre M. Picard

    ()

    (CREA, University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg), and CORE, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium).)

  • Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie

    ()

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), SBS-EM, ECARES, CEB, DULBEA, CEPR and Bruegel)

The present paper discusses the role of quality in patent systems from the perspective of patent offices' behavior and organization. After documenting original stylized facts, the paper presents a model in which patent offices set patent fees and the quality level of their examination processes. Various objectives of patent offices' governors are considered. We show that the quality of the patent system is maximal for the patent offices that maximises either the social welfare or its own proffit. Quality is lower for the self-funded patent office maximizing the number of patent applications and even smaller for the self-funded patent office maximizing the number of granted patents. A labor union improves examination quality and may compensate for the potentialy inappropriate objectives of patent office management.

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File URL: http://wwwfr.uni.lu/content/download/35526/427422/file/2011-06%20-%20Patent%20office%20governance%20and%20patent%20system%20quality.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg in its series CREA Discussion Paper Series with number 11-06.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:11-06
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  1. Langinier, Corinne & Marcoul, Philippe, 2007. "Patents, Search of Prior Art, and Revelation of Information," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10489, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Malwina Mejer & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the Cost of Patenting in Europe," Working Papers ECARES 2008_032, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Legros, 2008. ""Essential" Patents, FRAND Royalties and Technological Standards," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2008-010, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, 2010. "The quality factor in patent systems," Working Papers 422, Bruegel.
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  7. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2010. "The role of fees in patent systems: Theory and evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7879, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Guellec, Dominique & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2007. "The Economics of the European Patent System: IP Policy for Innovation and Competition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216987, December.
  9. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P & Lampe Ryan, 2004. "Patent Renewal Fees and Self-Funding Patent Offices," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-15, July.
  10. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  11. Duranton, Gilles & Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian, 2010. "The Economics of Clusters: Lessons from the French Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199592203, December.
  12. Richard Gilbert and Carl Shapiro., 1989. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," Economics Working Papers 89-102, University of California at Berkeley.
  13. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2008. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1347-69, September.
  14. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "On the price elasticity of demand for patents," Working Papers CEB 08-031.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  15. Scherer, F M, 1972. "Nordhaus' Theory of Optimal Patent Life: A Geometric Reinterpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 422-27, June.
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