Screening for Patent Quality: Examination, Fees, and the Courts

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2016-046

TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2016-036

66 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2016 Last revised: 10 Mar 2017

See all articles by Mark A. Schankerman

Mark A. Schankerman

London School of Economics and Political Science; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Florian Schuett

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management

Date Written: November 1, 2016

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 quantify the welfare effects of counterfactual policy reforms and show how they depend on the quality of the courts.

Keywords: innovation, patents, screening, litigation, courts, patent fees

JEL Classification: D82, K41, L24, O31, O34, O38

Suggested Citation

Schankerman, Mark A. and Schuett, Florian, Screening for Patent Quality: Examination, Fees, and the Courts (November 1, 2016). CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2016-046, TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2016-036, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2885197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2885197

Mark A. Schankerman

London School of Economics and Political Science ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 7518 (Phone)
+44 20 7831 1840 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Florian Schuett (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

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