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

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research; Brandeis University; 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

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

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

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
98
Abstract Views
923
rank
214,248
PlumX Metrics