Patentability, Industry Structure, and Innovation

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 01-13/R

35 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2009  

Robert M. Hunt

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 1, 2004

Abstract

This paper presents a model of sequential innovation in which industry structure is endogenous and a standard of patentability determines the proportion of all inventions that qualify for protection (in U.S. patent law this standard is called nonobviousness; in Europe it is called the inventive step). The rate of innovation initially rises as this standard is raised from very low levels, but eventual falls as the standard is raised to very high levels. Hence there is a unique patentability standard that maximizes the rate of innovation. Surprisingly, this critical standard is more stringent for industries disposed to innovate rapidly. The model suggests a number of important implications for patent policy.

Keywords: Patents, intellectual property, nonobviousness, inventive step

JEL Classification: L1, O31, O34

Suggested Citation

Hunt, Robert M., Patentability, Industry Structure, and Innovation (August 1, 2004). Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 01-13/R. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=295664 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.295664

Robert M. Hunt (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

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