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Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy

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  • Bronwyn H. Hall

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

The trickle of business method patents issued by the United States Patent Office became a flood after the State Street Bank decision in 1998. Many scholars, both legal and economic, have critiqued both the quality of these patents and the decision itself. This paper discusses the likely impact of these patents on innovation. It first reviews the facts about business method and internet patents briefly and then explores what economists know about the relationship between the patent system and innovation. It concludes by finding some consensus in the literature about the problems associated with this particular expansion of patentable subject matter, highlighting remaining areas of disagreement, and suggesting where there are major gaps in our understanding of the impact of these patents.

Suggested Citation

  • Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," Law and Economics 0401001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0401001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    7. Bronwyn H. Hall & Stuart Graham & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2004. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Postgrant Opposition," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 4, pages 115-144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bronwyn H. Hall & Stuart Graham & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2004. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Postgrant Opposition," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 4, pages 115-144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Martin A. Bader & Oliver Gassmann, 2011. "Patent Portfolio Management," Chapters, in: Federico Munari & Raffaele Oriani (ed.), The Economic Valuation of Patents, chapter 8, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Stefan Wagner, 2008. "Business Method Patents In Europe And Their Strategic Use—Evidence From Franking Device Manufacturers," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 173-194.
    4. Shiyuan Pan & Heng-fu Zou & Tailong Li, 2010. "Patent Protection, Technological Change and Wage Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 437, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    5. Talia Bar & Brendan Costello, 2017. "Patent Validity Challenges and The America Invents Act," Working papers 2017-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised May 2018.
    6. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2009. "Business And Financial Method Patents, Innovation, And Policy," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(4), pages 443-473, September.
    7. Wagner, S. & Cockburn, I., 2010. "Patents and the survival of Internet-related IPOs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 214-228, March.
    8. Bronwyn H. Hall & Grid Thoma & Salvatore Torrisi, 2009. "Financial Patenting in Europe," NBER Working Papers 14714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Kimmel, Randall K. & Antenucci, Robert & Hasan, Shahriar, 2017. "Investor perception and business method patents: A natural experiment," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 26-48.
    10. Hall, Bronwyn H. & MacGarvie, Megan, 2010. "The private value of software patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 994-1009, September.
    11. Pollock, Rufus, 2006. "Innovation and Imitation with and without Intellectual Property Rights," MPRA Paper 5025, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Jul 2007.
    12. Johnson, Justin P., 2014. "Defensive publishing by a leading firm," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 15-27.
    13. Bronwyn H. Hall & Lee E. Manfred, 2007. "Innovation in non-bank payment systems," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    14. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2009. "Business And Financial Method Patents, Innovation, And Policy," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(s1), pages 443-473, September.
    15. Oecd, 2004. "Patents and Innovation: Trends and Policy Challenges," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000502, David K. Levine.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K3 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law
    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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    1. Socio-Economics of Innovation

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