Is the Patent System Sensitive to Incorrect Information?

52 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2022

See all articles by Janet Freilich

Janet Freilich

Fordham University School of Law

Soomi Kim

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: August 25, 2022

Abstract

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 We use a novel approach to identify patents with inaccurate information: patent-paper pairs where the paper has been retracted and the corresponding patent contains the retracted material.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

Freilich, Janet and Kim, Soomi, Is the Patent System Sensitive to Incorrect Information? (August 25, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4200747 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4200747

Janet Freilich (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

Soomi Kim

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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