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Are More Important Patents Approved More Slowly and Should They Be?

Régibeau, P and Rockett, K (2007) Are More Important Patents Approved More Slowly and Should They Be? Working Paper. C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6178.

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Abstract

Innovative activities often are heavily regulated. Reviews conducted by administrative agencies take time and are not perfectly accurate. Of particular concern is whether, by design or not, such agencies discriminate against more important innovations by taking more time to perform their reviews. We study the relationship between the length of patent review and the importance of inventions in a theoretical model. We build a simple model of the US patent review process. The model predicts that, controlling for a patent's position in the new technology cycle, more important innovations would (and should) be approved more quickly. Also, the approval delay is likely to decrease as an industry moves from the early stages of an innovation cycle to later stages. These predictions are in line with the evidence we obtain from a data set of US patents granted in the field of genetically modified crops from 1983 to 1999. Our analysis also helps to reconcile the results on the relationship between importance and delay found in previous studies.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: genetic modification; innovation; patent policy; regulation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2012 16:13
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2018 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2856

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