Public Disclosure of Patent Applications, R&D, and Welfare

Berglas School of Economics Working Paper 30-98

50 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 1999

See all articles by Yossi Spiegel

Yossi Spiegel

Tel Aviv University, Coller School of Management; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Reiko Aoki

University of Auckland; Japan Fair Trade Commssion

Date Written: December 1998

Abstract

In Europe and in Japan, patent applications are publicly disclosed after 18 month from the filing date regardless of whether a patent has been or will be registered. In the U.S. in contrast, patent applications are publicly disclosed only when a patent is granted. In this paper we examine the consequences of this difference for (i) firm's R&D and patenting behavior, (ii) consumers' surplus and social welfare, and (iii) the incentives of firms to innovate, in a setting where patent protection is imperfect in the sense that patent applications may be rejected and patents are not always upheld in court. The main conclusions are that public disclosure leads to fewer patent applications and fewer innovations, but for a given number of innovations, it raises the probability that new technologies will reach the product market and thereby enhances consumers' surplus and possibly total welfare as well.

JEL Classification: O34, O31

Suggested Citation

Spiegel, Yossi and Aoki, Reiko, Public Disclosure of Patent Applications, R&D, and Welfare (December 1998). Berglas School of Economics Working Paper 30-98. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=146414 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.146414

Yossi Spiegel (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University, Coller School of Management ( email )

Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
972-3-640-9063 (Phone)
972-3-640-7739 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tau.ac.il/~spiegel

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Reiko Aoki

University of Auckland ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland
New Zealand
+64 9 373 7599 ext. 87669 (Phone)
+64 9 373 7427 (Fax)

Japan Fair Trade Commssion ( email )

1-1-1
Kasumigaseki
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8987
Japan

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