Are Patent Fees Effective at Weeding Out Low-Quality Patents?

Motu Working Paper No. 15-01

25 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2015 Last revised: 20 Dec 2018

See all articles by Gaétan de Rassenfosse

Gaétan de Rassenfosse

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Adam B. Jaffe

Brandeis University; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 7, 2016

Abstract

The paper investigates whether patent fees are an effective mechanism to deter the filing of low-quality patent applications. The study analyzes the effect on patent quality of the Patent Law Amendment Act of 1982, which resulted in a substantial increase in patenting fees at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Results from a series of difference-in-differences regressions suggest that the increase in fees led to a weeding out of low-quality patents. About 14 per cent of patents in the lowest quality decile were filtered out, and the effect was especially visible for companies with a large patent portfolio. The study has strong policy implications in the current context of concerns about declines in patent quality.

Keywords: Patents, Patent fees, Patent quality, Innovation, Invention

JEL Classification: K2, O31, O34, O38

Suggested Citation

de Rassenfosse, Gaétan and Jaffe, Adam B., Are Patent Fees Effective at Weeding Out Low-Quality Patents? (July 7, 2016). Motu Working Paper No. 15-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2545714 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2545714

Gaétan De Rassenfosse (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Station 5
Odyssea 1.04
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

Adam B. Jaffe

Brandeis University ( email )

Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States
781-736-2251 (Phone)
781-736-2263 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.brandeis.edu/global/people/faculty/jaff

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://motu.org.nz

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
98
Abstract Views
1,108
rank
254,524
PlumX Metrics