We investigate the casue of an unprecedented surge of U.S. patenting over the past decade. Conventional wisdom points to the establishment of the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit by Congress in 1982. We examine whether this institutiona change, which has benefitted patnet holders, explains the burst in U.S. patenting. Using both international and domestic data on patent applications and awards, we conclude that the evidence is nto favorable to the conventional view. Instead, it appears that the jump in patenting reflects an increase in U.S. innovation suprred by changes in the management of research.
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy