Patent Disclosure

70 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2018  

Deepak Hegde

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Kyle Herkenhoff

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis

Chenqi Zhu

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Date Written: April 6, 2018

Abstract

How does the disclosure of technical knowledge through patents affect knowledge diffusion, follow-on invention, and patenting? We study this by analyzing the American Inventor's Protection Act (AIPA), which required U.S. patent applications filed after November 28, 2000 to be published 18 months after filing, rather than at grant, and advanced the disclosure of most U.S. patents by about two years. We estimate AIPA’s causal effect by using a counterfactual sample of identical European “twins” (of U.S.patents) which were not affected by the U.S. policy change and find that AIPA (i) increased the rate and magnitude of knowledge diffusion associated with U.S. patents (ii) increased overlap between technologically distant patents and decreased overlap between similar patents. Patent abandonments and scope decreased, while patent clarity improved, after AIPA. The findings are consistent with the predictions of our theoretical framework which models AIPA as provisioning current information about related technologies to inventors. The information, in turn, reduces follow-on inventors’ R&D and patenting costs. Patent disclosure promotes knowledge diffusion and clearer property rights while reducing R&D duplication.

Keywords: Patents, Knowledge Diffusion, Innovation

JEL Classification: D23, G24, L26, O34

Suggested Citation

Hegde, Deepak and Herkenhoff, Kyle and Zhu, Chenqi, Patent Disclosure (April 6, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3158031 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3158031

Deepak Hegde (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Kyle Herkenhoff

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis ( email )

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Chenqi Zhu

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

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