Competition, Innovation and Racing for Priority at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

45 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2005

See all articles by Linda R. Cohen

Linda R. Cohen

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics; University of California, Irvine School of Law

Jun Ishii

Amherst College; University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2, 2005

Abstract

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office resolves patent priority disputes in patent interference cases. Using a random sample of cases declared between 1988 and 1994, we establish a connection between patent interferences and patent races, and then use the data to consider some key issues in dynamic competition and innovation. We look at the incidence and distribution of patent races by technology, evidence for strategic delay of innovation by incumbent firms, and evidence that patent races moderate incentives to delay. Our results have implications for patent policy in general and for evaluating the U.S. "first to invent" patent priority rule.

Keywords: patent race, patent interference, US Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, patent litigation, innovation, research and development

JEL Classification: K41, L20, O31, O34

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Linda R. and Ishii, Jun, Competition, Innovation and Racing for Priority at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (September 2, 2005). USC CLEO Research Paper No. C05-13, AEI-Brookings Joint Center Working Paper No. 05-22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=826504 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.826504

Linda R. Cohen (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States
949-824-5189 (Phone)
949-824-2182 (Fax)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

Jun Ishii

Amherst College ( email )

Amherst, MA 01002
United States

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

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