nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2023‒01‒23
two papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Discrimination in the patent system: Evidence from standard-essential patents By Gaetan de Rassenfosse; Emilio Raiteri; Rudi Bekkers
  2. Innovation in times of Covid-19 By Heinrich, Torsten; Yang, Jangho

  1. By: Gaetan de Rassenfosse (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne); Emilio Raiteri (Eindhoven University of Technology); Rudi Bekkers (Eindhoven University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper tests for traces of discrimination against foreigners in the patent system. It focuses on patent applications filed in China, and for which the owner has made a public disclosure that they are or may become essential to the implementation of a technical standard. Such potentially standard-essential patents are of particularly high importance to their owner. We use the timing of disclosure to a leading standard-setting organization as a source of econometric identification and carry out extensive tests to ensure the exogeneity of timing. We find that foreign patent applications are significantly less likely to be granted by the Chinese patent office if their owners disclose them to be potentially essential to a standard before the substantive examination starts. Furthermore, the patent office spends, on average, one more year on the examination of such patents, and the scope of the patents are also more extensively reduced. Our findings contribute to the emerging discussion on technology protectionism.
    Keywords: discrimination; indigenous innovation; national treatment principle; standard-essential patent; technology protectionism
    JEL: F53 F68 K39 L52 L63
    Date: 2023–01
  2. By: Heinrich, Torsten; Yang, Jangho
    Abstract: Did the Covid-19 pandemic have an impact on innovation? Past economic disruptions, anecdotal evidence, and the previous literature suggest a decline with substantial differences between industries. We leverage USPTO patent application data to investigate and quantify the disturbance. We assess differences by field of technology (at the CPC subclass level) as well as the impact of direct and indirect relevance for the management of the pandemic. Direct Covid-19 relevance is identified from a keyword search of the patent application fulltexts; indirect Covid-19 relevance is derived from past CPC subclass to subclass citation patterns. We find that direct Covid-19 relevance is associated with a strong boost to the growth of the number of patent applications in the first year of the pandemic at the same order of magnitude (in percentage points) as the percentage of patents referencing Covid-19. We find no effect for indirect Covid-19 relevance, indicating a focus on applied research at the expense of more basic research. Fields of technology (CPC mainsections) have an additional significant impact, with, e.g., mainsections A (human necessities) and C (chemistry, metallurgy) having a strong performance.
    Keywords: Innovation; Covid-19; Patent applications; Technological change
    JEL: I18 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2022–12–29

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