When the clock starts ticking: Measuring strategic responses to TRIPS's patent term change

Jorge Lemus, Guillermo Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As a consequence of the patent term harmonization introduced by TRIPS, the term of U.S. patents became contingent on how quickly the patents are granted. We find that patent applicants strategically responded to this change in incentives. In the pharmaceutical industry, narrower patents with less detailed descriptions allowed applicants to reduce the approval time by 10.8% (170 days). Also consistent with a ticking clock, we find a reduction in the use of continuations across all industries. Our results suggest that the patent term change created long-lasting efficiencies in the patent office.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalResearch Policy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 21 2018

Keywords

  • TRIPS
  • patents
  • length
  • breadth
  • disclosure
  • continuations

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