Time to patent at the USPTO: the case of emerging entrepreneurial firms
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In this paper we establish facts about the time it takes to process patent applications submitted by emerging entrepreneurial firms in high technology areas in the US. These facts, subsequently, inform our understanding of the strategic decisions made by entrepreneurial firms when it comes to expedite or delay the patent application process. Empirically, we exploit data describing more than 15,000 patents granted across time to 910 life sciences firms that won grants from the Small Business Innovation Research program. The econometric evidence is consistent with the argument that the cohort of entrepreneurial firms we study has adopted a strategic choice to maintain patent applications pending for prolonged times. We also find that examiners, patent attorneys, USPTO workload as well as application-specific features influence the time length of patent pendency.
KeywordsPatent pendency Backlog Emerging firms Life sciences USPTO SBIR
JEL ClassificationC41 L2 O32 O34 O38
This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2008-38420-18747. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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