Measuring Patent Assessment Quality - Analyzing the Degree and Kind of (In)Consistency in Patent Offices' Decision Making
52 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2006
Date Written: January 2007
We argue that consistent decision making in judging a patent's validity and basing this on its underlying technological quality are important elements of patent office service ("assessment") quality. To understand which level of assessment quality patent offices (can) provide, particularly in new technological areas, we study the concordance of the European Patent Office's granting and opposition decisions for individual patents. Using the biotechnology industry in the 1980s (an emerging patenting area then) as an example, we find that the EPO hardly maximized or optimized assessment quality as far as can be told from bibliographic indicators. We discuss research limitations and consequences.
Keywords: Patents, quality, novelty, inventive step, discrete choice, variance decomposition
JEL Classification: C25, C51, K41, L00, L20
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