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


Duke Law School

Melissa F. Wasserman


The University of Texas at Austin - School 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


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)
Duke Law School ( email )
210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Melissa F. Wasserman
The University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )
727 East Dean Keeton St
Austin, TX 78705
United States

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