11 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2009 Last revised: 20 Aug 2012
Date Written: January 1, 2009
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.
JEL Classification: O34, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Lemley, Mark A. and Sampat, Bhaven N., Examiner Characteristics and Patent Office Outcomes (January 1, 2009). Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 369. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1329091 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1329091