Search of Prior Art and Revelation of Information by Patent Applicants
We examine the strategic non-revelation of information by patent applicants. In a model of a bilateral search of information, we show that patent applicants may conceal information, and that examiners make their screening intensity contingent upon the received information. We then analyze the effects of a double review policy and a policy in which examiners ex ante commit to screening efforts. The implementation of the former policy reduces strategic non-revelation, but its overall implication remains unclear. The latter policy involves equal screening intensity across all applications, requires a limited commitment power and induces truthful revelation.
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