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Stronger Protection or Technological Revolution: What is Behind the Recent Surge in Patenting?

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  • Samuel Kortum
  • Josh Lerner

Abstract

We investigate the cause of an unprecedented surge of U.S. patenting over the past" decade. Conventional wisdom points to the establishment of the Court of Appeals of the" Federal Circuit by Congress in 1982. We examine whether this institutional change benefitted patent holders, explains the burst in U.S. patenting. Using both international and" domestic data on patent applications and awards, we conclude that the evidence is not favorable" to the conventional view. Instead, it appears that the jump in patenting reflects an increase in" U.S. innovation spurred by changes in the management of research.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Kortum & Josh Lerner, 1997. "Stronger Protection or Technological Revolution: What is Behind the Recent Surge in Patenting?," NBER Working Papers 6204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6204
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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