Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2019: 30 Jahre Mauerfall - Demokratie und Marktwirtschaft - Session: Economic History I No. B24-V3
This paper analyzes the consequences of radical patent-regime change by exploiting a natural experiment: the forced adoption of the Prussian patent system in territories annexed after the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. Compared to other German states, Prussia granted patents more restrictively by setting higher novelty requirements. Though, patent fees were much lower. By using novel hand-collected data, we show that the forced adoption of the Prussian patent law caused a massive drop in the number of patents per capita in annexed territories. By contrast, we find a significantly positive effect of patent-regime change on world-fair exhibits per capita, which we use as a proxy for non-patented innovation. We interpret this finding as evidence that restricting the granting of patents, which creates more competition, is conducive for the generation of innovation.
Innovation Intellectual Property Patents Patent Law Technological Change