Is the Patent System Sensitive to Incorrect Information?
52 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2022
Date Written: August 25, 2022
We investigate whether participants in the patent system are sensitive to information quality by examining how they treat inaccurate information. We use a novel approach to identify patents with inaccurate information: patent-paper pairs where the paper has been retracted and the corresponding patent contains the retracted material. Despite containing inaccurate information, we find that these patents are prosecuted and maintained by most applicants, are not rejected by examiners, and continue to be cited by some downstream readers after retraction. Insensitivity to inaccurate information may lead to erroneous decisions during examination and has implications for patent quality, disclosure, and knowledge flows.
Keywords: Patents, innovation, intellectual property, replicability
JEL Classification: O31, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation