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Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Post-grant Opposition

Author

Listed:
  • Bronwyn H. Hall

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Stuart J. H. Graham

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Dietmar Harhoff

    (Ludwig Maximilians Universitat, Munchen)

  • David C. Mowery

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

The recent surge in U.S. patenting and expansion of patentable subject matter has increased patent office backlogs and raised concerns that in some cases patents of insufficient quality or with inadequate search of prior art are being issued. At the same time patent litigation and its costs are rising. This paper explores the potential of a post- grant review process modeled on the European opposition system to improve patent quality, reveal overlooked prior art, and reduce subsequent litigation. We argue that the welfare gains to such a system may be substantial.

Suggested Citation

  • Bronwyn H. Hall & Stuart J. H. Graham & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2004. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Post-grant Opposition," Law and Economics 0401002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0401002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1998. "Stronger protection or technological revolution: what is behind the recent surge in patenting?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 247-304, June.
    2. Allison, John R. & Lemley, Mark & Moore, Kimberly A. & Trunkey, Derek, 2003. "Valuable Patents," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1m16k7w3, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    3. Hall, Bronwyn H., 2003. "Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2n24f63d, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    4. Jonathan Levin & Richard Levin, "undated". "Patent Oppositions," Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy Working Paper Series yale_lepp-1005, Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy.
    5. Robert M. Hunt, 2001. "You can patent that? Are patents on computer programs and business methods good for the new economy?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q1, pages 5-15.
    6. Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2004. "Determinants of opposition against EPO patent grants--the case of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 443-480, April.
    7. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights," CEPR Discussion Papers 3093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Kingston, William, 2001. "Innovation needs patents reform," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 403-423, March.
    9. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
    10. Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
    11. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-495, October.
    12. Cremers, Katrin, 2004. "Determinants of Patent Litigation in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-72, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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