Determinants of International Patent Examination Outcomes

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 06/05

Date: May 2005


Alfons Palangkaraya
Paul H. Jensen
Elizabeth Webster


This paper examines the factors that cause differences in patent examination outcomes at the trilateral patent offices using a dataset of more than 70,000 non-PCT patent applications filed at the European and Japanese Patent Offices conditional upon them being granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The paper finds that the quality of the invention, the applicant and whether the inventor was a local resident were the major determinants of patent grants. There is some, albeit inconsistent, evidence that examination decisions are made in the interests of the region's national trade.

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