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The Patent Quality Control Process: Can We Afford An\ud (Rationally) Ignorant Patent Office?

By Jing-Yuan Chiou

Abstract

This paper considers patent granting as a two-tiered process, which consists of\ud patent office examination (public enforcement) and court challenges (private enforcement).\ud It argues that, when the patent-holder has private information about the patent\ud validity, (i) a weak patent is more likely to be settled and thus escape court challenges\ud than a strong patent; and (ii) when the economy suffers from the low patent quality\ud problem, a tighter examination by the patent office may strengthen private scrutiny\ud over a weak patent. Both work against Lemley (2001)’s hypothesis of a “rationally\ud ignorant” patent office

Topics: HB Economic Theory, K Law (General)
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.imtlucca.it:99

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