To learn the patentability of an innovation, both applicant and examiner search through the set of related inventions. The applicant searches first and chooses to reveal his findings to the examiner, who performs a complementary search and decides whether to grant a patent. We analyze this process with a model of bilateral search for information. We show that the applicant may strategically conceal information, and the examiner makes her search contingent upon the revealed information. To remedy information concealment, we focus on two mechanisms: a double-review policy and a commitment mechanism. Both mechanisms induce more revelation of information.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 6, 2016
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