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Discrimination in the Patent System: Evidence from Standard-Essential Patents

27 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2017  

Gaétan de Rassenfosse

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Emilio Raiteri

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Rudi Bekkers

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)

Date Written: July 24, 2017

Abstract

This paper tests for traces of discrimination against foreigners in the patent prosecution process. It focuses on the case of China and looks specifically at patent applications declared as essential to a technological standard, so called standard-essential patents. The identification strategy exploits the timing of disclosure to the standard-setting organization in a difference-in-differences framework. Specifically, we track whether the patent application was disclosed as standard essential before or after it enters substantive examination at the Chinese patent office, and whether it is filed by a local or a foreign firm. We find that patent applications by foreign firms are treated unfavorably when examiners know that they are declared standard essential. Such patent applications are less likely to be granted, take longer to examine, and are more extensively amended. We interpret this result as evidence of violation of the national treatment principle.

Keywords: discrimination, indigenous innovation, national treatment principle, standard essential patent, technology protectionism

JEL Classification: F53, F68, K39, L52, L63, O25, O34

Suggested Citation

de Rassenfosse, Gaétan and Raiteri, Emilio and Bekkers, Rudi, Discrimination in the Patent System: Evidence from Standard-Essential Patents (July 24, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3007699

Gaétan De Rassenfosse (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Station 5
Odyssea 1.04
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

Emilio Raiteri

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Station 5
Odyssea 1.04
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

Rudi Bekkers

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) ( email )

Den Dolech 3, PO Box 513, Room IPO 2.40
Eindhoven, 5600MB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.ieis.tue.nl/rbekkers/

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