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Subjective Performance of Patent Examiners, Implicit Contracts and Self-Funded Patent Offices

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  • Langinier, Corinne

    () (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

  • Marcoul, Philippe

    () (University of Alberta)

Abstract

Self-funded patent offices should be concerned with patent quality (patents should be granted to only deserving innovations) and quantity (as revenues come from fees paid by applicants). In this context, we investigate what is the impact of the self-funded constraint on different bonus contracts, and how these contracts affect the examiners incentive to prosecute patent applications. We consider contracts in which a patent office offers bonuses on quantity quotas (explicit contract) and on quality outcome (either an implicit contract or an explicit contract based on a quality proxy). We find that a self-funded constrained agency should make different organization choices of incentives. For a low quality proxy precision, an agency facing a tight budget operates well with implicit contracts. However, by only relaxing moderately the budget constraint, the agency might be worse off simply because this will preclude implicit contracts. Only very large patenting fees might allow the agency to compensate for the loss of implicit contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Langinier, Corinne & Marcoul, Philippe, 2018. "Subjective Performance of Patent Examiners, Implicit Contracts and Self-Funded Patent Offices," Working Papers 2018-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2018_014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew Eckert & Corinne Langinier, 2014. "A Survey Of The Economics Of Patent Systems And Procedures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5), pages 996-1015, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Patents; Examiners; Explicit and Implicit Contracts; Self-funded Agency;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • 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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