Innovation Cycles and Learning at the Patent Office: Does the Early Patent Get the Delay?

25 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2010

See all articles by Pierre Régibeau

Pierre Régibeau

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Katharine Rockett

University of Essex - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Abstract

We study the relationship between the length of patent review and the importance of inventions. We build a simple model of the U.S. patent review process. Among the model predictions are that, controlling for a patent's position in a new technology cycle, more important innovations would be approved more quickly. Also, the approval delay is likely to decrease as an industry moves from the early stages of an innovation cycle to later stages. These predictions are in line with the evidence we obtain from a data set on U.S. patents granted in the field of genetically modified crops from 1983 to 1999. We also show that failing to account for the innovation life cycle – as previous studies have done – is likely to bias upwards the estimates of the relationship between delay and importance.

Suggested Citation

Régibeau, Pierre and Rockett, Katharine, Innovation Cycles and Learning at the Patent Office: Does the Early Patent Get the Delay?. The Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 58, Issue 2, pp. 222-246, June 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1615804 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6451.2010.00418.x

Pierre Régibeau (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Katharine Rockett

University of Essex - Department of Economics ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
+44 1206 873 333 (Phone)
+44 1206 873 724 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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