NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Deepak Hegde

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Working Papers

June 2007Pioneers, Submariners, or Thicket-builders: Which Firms Use Continuations in Patenting?
with David C. Mowery, Stuart Graham: w13153
The continuations procedure within the U.S. patent system has been criticized for enabling firms to manipulate the patent review process for strategic purposes. Changes during the 1990s in patent procedures affected the incentives of applicants to exploit the continuations process, and additional reforms in continuations currently are being considered. Nonetheless, little is known about applicants' use of the three major types of continuations -- the Continuation Application (CAP), the Continuations-In-Part (CIP), and Divisions -- to alter the term and scope of patents. This paper analyzes patents issued from the three types of continuations to U.S. firms during 1981 - 2004 (with priority years 1981 - 2000), and links their frequency to the characteristics of patents, assignees and indu...

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