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Patent Scope and Examiner Toughness


contributors: Jeffrey Kuhn, Neil Thompson

tags: Examiners, patent scope, legal, assessment

relationships to other tools: USPTO patent claims dataset

timeframe: Need to check paper

terms of_use: These datasets are provided to the public subject to the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. No co‑authorship is required to use the data in academic research — please just cite the supporting article.

documentation: Not unless it’s in the paper

description: This dataset includes an easy-to-use measure of patent scope that is grounded both in patent law and in the practices of patent attorneys. Our measure counts the number of words in the patents’ first claim. The longer the first claim, the less scope a patent has. This is because a longer claim has more details – and all those details must be met for another invention to be infringing. Hence, the more details there are in the patent, the greater are the opportunities for others to invent around it. We validate our measure by showing both that patent attorneys’ subjective assessments of scope agree with our estimates, and that the behavior of patenters is consistent with it. To facilitate drawing causal inferences with our measure, we show how it can be used to create an instrumental variable, patent examiner Scope Toughness, which we also validate.

last edit: Mon, 19 Jun 2023 16:38:37 GMT