Are Patent Fees Effective at Weeding out Low-quality Patents?
The paper investigates whether patent fees are an effective mechanism to deter the filing of low-quality patent applications. The study analyzes the effect on patent quality of the Patent Law Amendment Act of 1982, which resulted in a substantial increase in patenting fees at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Results from a series of difference-in-differences regressions suggest that the increase in fees led to a weeding out of low-quality patents. About 14 per cent of patents in the lowest quality decile were filtered out, and the effect was especially visible for companies with a large patent portfolio. The study has strong policy implications in the current context of concerns about declines in patent quality.
de Rassenfosse was supported by an Early Career Researcher grant from the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. Jaffe was supported by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Adam B. Jaffe, 2018. "Are patent fees effective at weeding out low-quality patents?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, vol 27(1), pages 134-148. citation courtesy of