Quality of Invention or Type II error?: Accelerated Examination and Grant Decision of Patent Office

Authors: Junbyoung Oh (Inha University) and Yee Kyoung Kim (Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning)

Abstract
This paper investigates the observed high grant ratio of accelerated examinations in Korea and explore whether it comes from high quality of invention or systematic bias of examiners, so called ‘type II error.’ Using unique micro-level data set directly controlling for the workloads and heterogeneity of examiners, we find that accelerated examination significantly increases not only an examiner’s propensity to grant a patent but also the acceptance rate of invalidation appeals in the patent dispute. This implies that the accelerated examination has a negative external effect on the examiner’s examination quality and the observed high grant ratio may reflect the ‘type II error’ of examination by producing unqualified patents.

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