Assessing the Representativeness of Published US Patent Records: A Research Guide

56 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2018

See all articles by Stuart J.H. Graham

Stuart J.H. Graham

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

Alan C. Marco

Georgia Institute of Technology - School of Public Policy

Richard Miller

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

This article describes the “USPTO Patent Examination Research Dataset” (PatEx), and explores possible selection issues and the representativeness of the 9.1 million US patent application records it contains. We find that data are sparse for years before 1981, and that serious selection issues affect records on applications filed prior to 2001 due to non-publication in the US. Following implementation of a policy change in November 2000, however, both coverage and representativeness of the PatEx data improve substantially. Our analysis uncovers specific areas that are prone to selectivity issues by generating statistical evidence across application characteristics such as application type, age, ownership type, domestic or foreign origin, patent family status, and technology class among others. While our exploration suggests to researchers several categories of specific concern, our findings overall show that the PatEx data are generally representative of the population of patent applications filed in the US after 2000 across observable characteristics. [Note: a reference Appendix is attached to the end of this manuscript].

Keywords: Patents, Patent examination, Innovation research

JEL Classification: O31, O34, Y10, C49

Suggested Citation

Graham, Stuart J.H. and Marco, Alan C. and Miller, Richard, Assessing the Representativeness of Published US Patent Records: A Research Guide (March 2017). Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Research Paper No. 18-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2633710 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2633710

Stuart J.H. Graham (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States
404-385-0953 (Phone)
404-894-6030 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.scheller.gatech.edu/graham

Alan C. Marco

Georgia Institute of Technology - School of Public Policy ( email )

685 Cherry St.
Atlanta, GA 30332-0345
United States

Richard Miller

United States Patent and Trademark Office ( email )

Alexandria
VA 22313-1451
United States

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