The aim of this paper is to investigate the causal effect of a recent attempt undertaken by the EPO to improve the quality of the patent granting process. To do so we examine a policy change that aimed at including the information revealed during the standardisation-setting process into the official definition of prior art. All the empirical analysis consistently support that the policy was successful. Indeed, we find a negative and strongly significant reduction in the granting rate, suggesting that the process of patent granting has become more careful and selective after the policy implementation.
Quality of patent granting technological standards policy evaluation