49 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009 Last revised: 6 May 2009
Date Written: April 2009
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: 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