Information constraints and examination quality in patent offices: The effect of initiation lags

Sadao Nagaoka, Isamu Yamauchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using an exogenous policy change in Japan that accelerated patent examination, we examined how information constraints in a patent office affect patent examination quality in terms of both type I errors (wrong grants) and type II errors (wrong rejections). We found that accelerated examination increased both types of errors, but the increase in the number of wrong grants dominated that in the number of wrong rejections. Furthermore, the effect was stronger for technology sectors wherein the information constraints on examiners were stronger (short technology cycles and early examination requests) before the policy change. Our main results held when using the examination and appeal panel data of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) as well as for the matched sample of the JPO and European Patent Office examinations. In conclusion, a better information gathering system is important for improving the quality of patent examination by patent offices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102839
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Organization
Volume82
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Information constraint
  • Patent examination
  • Prior art
  • Type I error
  • Type II error

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