The Effect of Patent Disclosure Quality on Innovation

57 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2020 Last revised: 20 Jul 2021

See all articles by Travis Dyer

Travis Dyer

Brigham Young University

Stephen Glaeser

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Accounting Area

Mark H. Lang

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Caroline Sprecher

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Accounting Area

Date Written: September 14, 2020

Abstract

The patent system grants inventors temporary monopoly rights in exchange for a public disclosure detailing their innovation. These disclosures are meant to allow others to recreate and build on the patented innovation. We examine how the quality of these disclosures affects follow-on innovation. We use the plausibly exogenous assignment to patent applications of patent examiners who differ in their enforcement of disclosure requirements as a source of variation in disclosure quality. We find that some examiners are significantly more lenient with respect to patent disclosure quality requirements, and that patents granted by these examiners include significantly lower-quality disclosures. These patents generate significantly less follow-on innovation.

Keywords: Disclosure, patents, innovation

JEL Classification: O3, O31

Suggested Citation

Dyer, Travis and Glaeser, Stephen and Lang, Mark H. and Sprecher, Caroline, The Effect of Patent Disclosure Quality on Innovation (September 14, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3711128 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3711128

Travis Dyer

Brigham Young University ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

Stephen Glaeser (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Accounting Area ( email )

McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Mark H. Lang

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ( email )

Kenan-Flagler Business School
McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States
919-962-1644 (Phone)
919-962-4727 (Fax)

Caroline Sprecher

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Accounting Area ( email )

McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States

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