Are All Patent Examiners Equal? The Impact of Examiner Characteristics
Building on insights gained from interviewing administrators and patent examiners at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we collect and analyze a novel dataset on patent examiners and patent outcomes. This dataset is based on 182 patents for which the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled on validity between 1997 and 2000. For each patent, we identify a USPTO primary examiner, and collect historical statistics derived from their entire patent examination history. These data are used to explore a number of hypotheses about the connection between the patent examination process and the strength of ensuing patent rights. Our main findings are as follows. (i) Patent examiners and the patent examination process are not homogeneous. There is substantial variation in observable characteristics of patent examiners, such as their tenure at the USPTO, the number of patents they have examined and the degree to which the patents that they examine are later cited by other patents. (ii) There is no evidence that examiner experience or workload at the time a patent is issued affects the probability that the CAFC finds a patent invalid. (iii) Examiners whose patents tend to be more frequently cited tend to have a higher probability of a CAFC invalidity ruling. The results suggest that all patent examiners are not equal, and that one of the roles of the CAFC is to review the exercise of discretion in the patent examination process.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2002|
|Publication status:||published as Cohen, Wesley and Steven Merrill (eds.) Patents in the Knowledge-Based Economy. National Academies Press, 2003.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hall, Bronwyn H & Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001.
"The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
- Zvi Griliches, 1990.
"Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey,"
NBER Working Papers
3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
- Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000.
"Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not),"
NBER Working Papers
7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
- Jean O. Lanjouw & Josh Lerner, 1997.
"The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: A Survey of the Empirical Literature,"
NBER Working Papers
6296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jean Lanjouw & Josh Lerner, 1998. "The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 49-50, pages 223-246.
- repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
- Josh Lerner, 2005.
"150 Years of Patent Office Practice,"
American Law and Economics Review,
Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 112-143.
- Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8980. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.