Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Screening for Patent Quality

Author(s): Mark Schankerman and Florian Schuett

Publication Date: December 2016

Keyword(s): courts, innovation, litigation, patent fees, patents and screening

Programme Area(s): Industrial Organization

Abstract: To study how governments can improve the quality of patent screening, we develop an integrative framework incorporating four main policy instruments: patent office examination, pre- and post-grant fees, and challenges in the courts. We show that examination and pre grant fees are complementary, and that pre-grant fees screen more effectively than post-grant fees. Simulations of the model, calibrated on U.S. patent and litigation data, indicate that patenting is socially excessive and the patent office does not effectively weed out low quality applications. We use the calibrated model to quantify the welfare effects of various counterfactual policy reforms.

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Bibliographic Reference

Schankerman, M and Schuett, F. 2016. 'Screening for Patent Quality'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.