Does it Matter Who Has the Right to Patent: First-to-Invent or First-to-File? Lessons from Canada

49 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009 Last revised: 6 May 2009

See all articles by Shih-Tse Lo

Shih-Tse Lo

McGill University - Department of Economics

Dhanoos Sutthiphisal

Assumption University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2009

Abstract

A switch to a first-to-file patent regime from its first-to-invent system has become imminent for the U.S. To learn about probable effects of such a policy change, we examine a similar switch that occurred in Canada in 1989. We find that the switch failed to stimulate Canadian R&D efforts. Nor did it have any effects on overall patenting. However, the reforms had a small adverse effect on domestic-oriented industries and skewed the ownership structure of patented inventions towards large corporations, away from independent inventors and small businesses. These findings challenge the merits of adopting a first-to-file patent regime.

Suggested Citation

Lo, Shih-Tse and Sutthiphisal, Dhanoos, Does it Matter Who Has the Right to Patent: First-to-Invent or First-to-File? Lessons from Canada (April 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14926. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1394833

Shih-Tse Lo

McGill University - Department of Economics ( email )

855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC H3A 2T7
Canada

Dhanoos Sutthiphisal (Contact Author)

Assumption University ( email )

Dept of Business Economics, Assumption University
Bangna Trad Rd, Km 26
Bang Sao Tong, Samut Prakarn 10540
Thailand

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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