Bhaven Sampat relying on Lemley in -HOW DO PATENTS AFFECT FOLLOW-ON INNOVATION? EVIDENCE FROM THE HUMAN GENOME -
THE HUMAN GENOME [by Sampat and Williams; http://www.nber.org/papers/w21666 ] :
we start with the full sample of human genes (N=26,440). As measured in our data, approximately
29 percent of human genes have sequences that were explicitly claimed in granted US patents (N=7,717).22
Footnote 22 states: As a point of comparison, Jensen and Murray (2005) document that as of 2005, approximately 20 percent of human genes had sequences
that were explicitly claimed as granted patents. Because our sample includes patent applications that were granted patents after 2005, we
would expect our estimate to be mechanically larger.
**Also of interest is a remark suggesting variability in outcome depending upon the patent examiner:
Our second source of quasi-experimental variation constructs an instrumental variables strategy for predicting
which patent applications are granted patents. Our key idea is to build on previous research which has established
that although patent examiners are charged with a uniform mandate, in practice examiners have a fair amount of
discretion, and this discretion appears to translate into substantial variation in the decisions different examiners
make on otherwise similar patent applications (Cockburn, Kortum and Stern, 2003; Lichtman, 2004; Lemley and
Sampat, 2010, 2012).30 In the spirit of prior analyses such as Kling (2006), we leverage these patterns in order to
use variation in the “leniency” of different patent examiners as a predictor of which patent applications are granted
**Note that the authors use patent family size and number of claims as metrics:
we need measures of patent value that are defined for
patent applications (not just for granted patents), and also want a measure that is fixed at the time of application
(and hence unaffected by subsequent grant decisions). For these reasons, we focus on two value measures which
fit these criteria: patent family size and claims count.
There are shades of the (false) Lemley assertion of transistor only for hearing aids premise:
If a patent holder can develop all possible follow-on inventions herself, then all socially desirable
follow-on inventions will be developed. However, as stressed by Scotchmer (2004), the patent holder may not
know all potential opportunities for follow-on innovation.
The Kitch prospect theory is mentioned:
On the other hand, work dating back at
least to Kitch (1977) has argued patents may facilitate investment and technology transfers across firms (Arora,
1995; Arora, Fosfuri and Gambardella, 2001; Kieff, 2001; Gans, Hsu and Stern, 2002, 2008), which may increase
incentives for follow-on research and commercialization.
There are 19 internal citations to papers involving Lemley
Lemley (2001) p43
Lemley (2008) p22
Lemley and Sampat (2008) p2, p36, p36, p38, p43
Lemley and Sampat (2010) p3, p7, p14, p14, p36
Lemley and Sampat (2012) p14, p15, p17, p43, p44, p44, p44
Details of Lemley papers in bibliography:
Lemley, Mark, “Rational ignorance at the patent office,” Northwestern University Law Review, 2001, 95 (4),
, “Ignoring Patents,” Michigan State Law Review, 2008, 19 (1), 19–34.
and Bhaven Sampat, “Is the patent office a rubber stamp?,” Emory Law Journal, 2008, 58, 181–203.
and , “Examining patent examination,” Stanford Technology Law Review, 2010, 2.
and , “Examiner characteristics and patent office outcomes,” Review of Economics and Statistics, 2012, 94,
Cited papers by Bessen include:
Bessen, James, “Holdup and licensing of cumulative innovations with private information,” Economics Letters,
2004, 82 (3), 321–326.
, “The value of U.S. patents by owner and patent characteristics,” Research Policy, 2008, 37 (5), 932–945.
and Eric Maskin, “Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation,” RAND Journal of Economics, 2009, 40 (4),
**Note 2010 IPBiz post