Examiner Characteristics and Patent Office Outcomes
Mark A. Lemley
Stanford Law School
Bhaven N. Sampat
Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health
January 1, 2009
Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 369
In this paper, we show that there are important differences across patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and that these relate to the most important decision made by the USPTO: whether or not to grant a patent. We find that more experienced examiners, and those who systematically cite less prior art, are more likely to grant patent applications. These results are not encouraging as a matter of public policy. But they do point to human resource policies as potentially important levers in patent system reform.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
JEL Classification: O34, O38
Date posted: January 19, 2009 ; Last revised: August 20, 2012
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