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Improving patent incentives and enforcement

Schankerman, Mark (2009) Improving patent incentives and enforcement. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, 4 (11). pp. 798-808. ISSN 1747-1532

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jiplp/jpp145


Legal context This paper examines the argument that patenting has become an impediment to innovative activity, rather than the incentive it was originally designed to be. Key points Using economic analysis and empirical evidence, I take up three main issues: deterioration in the quality of patents issues, with ‘weak patents’ unlikely to be enforced by courts if challenged; patent thickets, where firms must secure license agreements from many patentees in order to undertake R&D; and the costs of enforcing patent rights. Practical significance The analysis leads to five main policy recommendations: 1) an opposition procedure in the patent office, 2) a mechanism for third-party provision of information on relevant prior art, 3) a substantial increase in patent renewal fees to generate a progressive tax on patent rights, 4) an effective, market-based system of patent litigation insurance, and 5) a centralized patent court to increase predictability of patent enforcement.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 The Author
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
K Law > K Law (General)
JEL classification: K - Law and Economics > K2 - Regulation and Business Law > K29 - Other
Sets: Departments > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2011 08:36
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 00:54

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