Research Seminar: Mark Schankerman (LSE)

Title: "Property Rights for Innovation: A Structural Model of Patent Screening"(joint with William Matcham)

  • Date: 12 October 2023 from 12:00 to 13:15

  • Event location: Auditorium - Piazza Scaravilli, 1 + Microsoft Teams Meeting


We develop a dynamic structural model of patent screening incorporating incentives, intrinsic motivation, and multi-round negotiation. We estimate the model using detailed data on examiner decisions and employ natural language processing to create a new measure of patent distance that enables us to study strategic decisions by applicants and examiners. Our model estimates and counterfactuals imply three main findings. First, there is large and heterogeneous intrinsic motivation that significantly improves the effectiveness of screening. Second, extrinsic incentives for examiners only affect screening outcomes strongly when intrinsic motivation is low. Third, restricting the number of negotiation rounds sharply improves the speed and quality of screening. We quantify the social costs of patent screening and find that the annual social cost of the existing system is $32.6bn, equivalent to 6.8% of total U.S. R&D expenditures.

Invited by: Vincenzo Denicolò

Local Organizer: Niko Jaakkola