Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2472794
 


 



Is the Time Allocated to Review Patent Applications Inducing Examiners to Grant Invalid Patents?: Evidence from Micro-Level Application Data


Michael Frakes


Northwestern University - School of Law

Melissa F. Wasserman


University of Illinois College of Law

July 2014

NBER Working Paper No. w20337

Abstract:     
We explore how examiner behavior is altered by the time allocated for reviewing patent applications. Insufficient examination time may hamper examiner search and rejection efforts, leaving examiners more inclined to grant invalid applications. To test this prediction, we use application-level data to trace the behavior of individual examiners over the course of a series of promotions that carry with them reductions in examination-time allocations. We find evidence demonstrating that such promotions are associated with reductions in examination scrutiny and increases in granting tendencies, as well as evidence that those additional patents being issued on the margin are of below-average quality.

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Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

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Date posted: July 28, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Frakes, Michael and Wasserman, Melissa F., Is the Time Allocated to Review Patent Applications Inducing Examiners to Grant Invalid Patents?: Evidence from Micro-Level Application Data (July 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20337. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2472794

Contact Information

Michael Frakes (Contact Author)
Northwestern University - School of Law ( email )
375 E. Chicago Ave
Unit 1505
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
Melissa F. Wasserman
University of Illinois College of Law ( email )
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
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