Patent Renewal Fees and Self-Funding Patent Offices
Joshua Gans (),
Stephen King () and
Lampe Ryan ()
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Lampe Ryan: Stanford University
The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, 2004, vol. 4, issue 1, 1-15
A socially optimal structure of application and renewal fees for patents would encourage the maximal number of applications while reducing effective patent length. We find, however, that when patent offices are required to be self-funding, resource constraints can distort this fee structure. Specifically, a financially constrained, but welfare-oriented, patent office will tend to raise initial application fees while lowering renewal fees. This creates two detriments to social welfare as it discourages the filing of some patents while extending the effective life of others.
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