NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

What is a Patent Worth? Evidence from the U.S. Patent "Lottery"

Joan Farre-Mensa, Deepak Hegde, Alexander Ljungqvist

NBER Working Paper No. 23268
Issued in March 2017
NBER Program(s):   CF   LE   PR

We provide evidence on the value of patents to startups by leveraging the random assignment of applications to examiners with different propensities to grant patents. Using unique data on all first-time applications filed at the U.S. Patent Office since 2001, we find that startups that win the patent “lottery” by drawing lenient examiners have, on average, 55% higher employment growth and 80% higher sales growth five years later. Patent winners also pursue more, and higher quality, follow-on innovation. Winning a first patent boosts a startup’s subsequent growth and innovation by facilitating access to funding from VCs, banks, and public investors.

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Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23268

 
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