Patent publication and technology spillovers

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Deepak Hegde, New York University
Kyle Herkenhoff, University of Minnesota
Chenqi Zhu, New York University


How does publication of new ideas through patents affect technology spillovers? To answer this, we develop a model which predicts that invention disclosure through patents (i) increases technology spillovers at the extensive and intensive margins (ii) increases overlap between distant but related patents and decreases overlap between similar patents (iii) lowers average inventive step, originality, and scope of new patents (iv) decreases patent abandonments and (v) increases patenting. We test these predictions by leveraging the enactment of the American Inventor’s Protection Act, which advanced the publication of U.S. patents by about two years. The empirical findings support our model’s predictions.

December 18, 2018


Deepak Hegde Kyle Herkenhoff Chenqi Zhu


Anticompetitive Conduct

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